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BC Politics Rocks! Take That!

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There were times, many years ago in a galaxy far away, when I was a BC Assistant Politics Editor, that I despaired at the vitriol spilling from the comments on the politics site, infecting the rest of our esteemed BC and threatening its integrity, honor, and decency.

You betcha!

But in my too-long hiatus, from which I still have not yet fully returned, I've had the chance to check out other political sites, and I'm pleased to report that BC Be Alright.

On most other well-known political sites (I'd name them but then I'd have to link them and I'm too lazy… weak… infirm), the quality of political discussions ranges from "you betcha" to rants that would make those from our least savory members bundles of boodle.

On Politico.com, which is a site for polling junkies, fer Christ's sake, Mark Blumenthal recently suspended comments and kicked assholes off the site because the dialogue had reached swamp gas levels. (He has since relented.) On others, the comments range from "right on, third-world soul world brother" to "you ain't got no sense, you fuckin' liberal/conservative."

So I have to say that the political writers and commenters on BC should feel pretty good about the quality and substance of their discourse. The question now is — why isn't the site getting more notice?

First, one answer is, in a word, publicity. Without rampant self-promotion, it's going to be difficult to elevate the political site into the next realm.

Second, as one who lives on opinion because he finds facts so… pesky… we need more articles to balance out the opinion. It's not hard to do. Hell, all I use is My Yahoo and I get frequent updates — if I'd only check it more than once every two or three days. Opinion is nice, but breaking news is better in the sense that it gets us more notoriety on the aggregator sites, not to mention making Eric O. a happy camper in his new luxury suite at Technorati "We be the future".com.

Nonetheless, in defiance of one BC editor (I'd name him if I could only remember who he was) who once compared the politics page to a cage of angry weasels all tearing each other into Palin-sized pieces… well, maybe not his exact words… I say, pshaw. If you can't stand the heat, go back to your own realm.

So well done, BC Politics. It may be a slimy, ugly, opinion-filled mass of egomaniacs, but it's one of the best-informed and most intelligent masses of egomaniacs I've found.

And that's the truth.

Curmudgeon At Large
In Jameson Veritas

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’d comment, but I’m still busy having plaque trowelled out of my arteries after consuming all that heavy cream.

    I’ll get back to you after my fried chicken lunch.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Don’t get too complacent Mark, BC’s politics section is getting there fast. With the (mostly editors) right-wing section rabidly willing and over anxiously able to counter anything vaguely center or left of it with 20 paragraph vituperations, many have (myself included) seriously considered wandering off and not returning.

    It’s not the opinions that bother me, it’s the nose-in-the-air and the arogant I’m-right-and-everyone-else-is-wrong, “Oh just ignore him; he’ll go away” attitude that seems to pervade this website.

    It’s the conviction that posting an opinion is nearly completely ignored unless you fall in lock step with the right and far-right.

    It’s gotten to the point where the political section of this site is like being tied to a chair and being forced to listen to the Rush Limbaugh radio show, and just as frustrating because the communication is one-way.

    When there’s an exchange of 2-way dialogue, instead of an interchange of insults and belittlement of intellect (from people I somehow respect) I’ll consider coming back.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    We’re awesome, because the mountain of turds in our comment threads aren’t nearly as potent as the mounds in other sites’!

    Seriously, folks, they’re comments. Little spouts of unrefined, uncensored discussion below a bunch of RSS feeds and links to Amazon products. They’re not that big a deal. The articles themselves are solid, and the tone of the comments do not reflect the tone of the article.

    If you’re up at night thinking about how an Internet commenter was mean to you or how your precious comment got overlooked, then you should probably call up your local cable provider and ask them to send a technician between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to bludgeon you in the head repeatedly with your own modem, because if that doesn’t get the concept of the Internet in your head, nothing will. (This is a service traditionally free of charge, though some charge you, and for convenience purposes Comcast itemizes it in your monthly bill.)

    If you want to have a political discussion with someone, call your friend.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Jet, my observation is exactly the opposite of your #2. There are a couple of vituperative right wingers, and several very reasonable ones. Then there’s a huge mass of ranting and completely irrational lefties who try to shout down dissent rather than engaging in discussion.

    Dave

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Oh, Dave. Sigh…………..

  • zingzing

    dave’s definition of “irrational”=”lefties.”

    we’re not irrational dave, we’re just living in a different reality than you are, apparently.

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Jesus folks. Make me sorry I wrote the damn article. I don’t read lots o’ articles on BC anymore, but the notion that it’s all right-wing or left-wing loonies is…well…lunacy.

    Usually all it takes is one person to call for a stop to the ranting & raving, and, surprise, people begin to disagree respectfully. And contrary to what Suss says, there have been some great comment threads here. We just have to all commit to that & harangue the haranguers.

    We’re all nuts…why else would be spending time here? You want real vitriol or biased sites, go visit some others.

    So there…grumble, grumble, grumble.

    (Welcome back, Dr. D. I see you’re not dead. That’s nice. I’m going to indulge in my favorite fantasy…)

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Jet: bollocks.
    Cassandra: bollocks, but perhaps I’m only saying that because you’re called Cassandra.
    Dave: bollocks.

    There are quasi-religious maniacs commenting here from both sides of the spectrum. I suggest, folks, that because you are in agreement with some of their sentiments, you don’t interpret them as maniacal: therefore, to your eyes, your side is the less flying-mammal-feces insane one.

    Even our core writers and commenters are prone to drivel from time to time. On the left, for example, there’s the normally lucid and persuasive Baritone, who when provoked is prone to fly off into spittle-laden fits of enjoyable but undignified sarcasm. On the right, there’s RJ, who alternates without warning between rationality and gibbering political paranoia.

    The trick is to develop a good bullshit detector, which, alas, many of our regulars seem to have difficulty in acquiring. The writings of Dave and his now-departed nemesis Moon are excellent training-grounds in this skill.

    One thing about being a comments editor is that it does give one a more balanced perspective…

  • zingzing

    mark, you wrote this article on TOTALLY THE WRONG DAY if you wanted to see niceties and the like. today is a day of horrific battle! and tomorrow too! but wednesday… we shall see.

  • zingzing

    moon’s gone again? when did that happen? and where? i wanna see! lemme look!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Fine comment, DD, and I must say that I largely agree with your premi-

    GIBBERGIBBERGIBBBERGIBBERGIBBERGIBBER

    and hope that all involved and enjoy a reasoned and respectful deba-

    WHATSTHEMOTHERFUCKINGFREQUENCYKENNETH

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Make me sorry I wrote the damn article.”

    That makes two of us.

    Yup, Moon is gone again, which undercuts one of Mark’s points.

  • zingzing

    what was the comment thread that sent her and dr. d over the edge?

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I rest my case….

  • Clavos

    (Welcome back, Dr. D. I see you’re not dead. That’s nice. I’m going to indulge in my favorite fantasy…)

    Call me crazy, Mark, but you might want to clarify that a bit, perhaps add some detail; before the rumors start flying.

    I’m just sayin’…:>)

  • Cindy D

    Dr.D dead?

    Can I have his propeller beanie?

  • Baronius

    It doesn’t matter which thread. Letting that particular hyena back into the dog park was a bad idea from the start.

    I think that the more notice a political site gets, the lower its level of discourse. It’s a no-win situation. The only way around it is to give posting rights to a limited few, which would prevent us from replenishing the pool of writers and commenters.

    I really like it here. There aren’t many D’s or R’s as much as liberals and conservatives. A good many are intelligent and/or international and/or outside the usual stereotypes. I think RJ put it best in comment #13.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav – check your e-mail.

    RJ – LOL and thanks. We all need some comic relief at this point.

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Clavos, my apologies. On a post in the Tastes section, where Dr. D. & I were extolling the virtues of a high fat, high fun diet thumbing our noses to the health-Nazis, Dr. D. suddenly had a mild metro-cardiac-infraction. I thought it more serious, and I’m delighted to see him back.

    There…that help? (Sorry, Cindy.)

    And what did happen to Moon. She’s been cranky but not particularly nasty in the comments I’ve seen. We need her. She’s always good for a laugh & occasionally a source of new hooch.

    Zing zing…yeah, you’re right. Talk about bad timing…oh well, my middle name.

  • zingzing

    on moon–and plus, someone (jet?) recently made up a nickname for the times when moon comes down on you in a particularly self-righteous manner… a “mooning,” he called it. come on. that was priceless… so many opportunities to write, “oh! i’ve been mooooooned.” and the like, yada yada.

    she hasn’t seemed so bad recently. i just try, as much as i can, never to respond to her directly. i acknowledge her presence, but try not to engage her directly, as she’s a fucking total loon-ass “VICTIM!” random insult generator with some sort of complex about her own importance and the nastiness of all other life on this planet. but i can live with it. fucking nasty thing.

  • Cindy D

    Why is moon gone?

  • troll

    …I’ve never understood other people’s narcissism

  • zingzing

    yes, you have, troll. yes, you have. i know you have. i know it!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “contrary to what Suss says, there have been some great comment threads here.”

    Really, the Internet is all about scanning text, finding something you disagree with, and reference it to Hitler.

    Hence:

    I don’t think that’s what I said at all, Mark. There’ve been tons of great comments, a few great commenters, and maybe even the occasional “great debate.” But take their worth equal to the grains of salt, hair, dead skin, and whatever may layeth beneath your keyboard. They’re inconsequential meandering tatters of dialogue, and the article’s what really matters.

    (This coming from a dude who got a paid writing gig largely based on the comments he made on that blog. But it never stemmed from engaging with others, agreeing/disagreeing with them, or really paying attention to anyone but myself. On the cybertubes, vanity is handsomely rewarded. Also, spellcheck helps.)

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Guilty, Zing…

  • zingzing

    jet–you’re a misogynist!!

    you’ve just been “mooooooned!”

    mooooo! moooooo!

    nu-duh!

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Ah, Suss, that’s where we disagree. I submit there is no difference between the article & the comments. Both are on a par with the detritus, ashes, spilled Jameson, fingernail clippings, cat hairs, and creepy crawlies that inhabit the world ‘neath my keyboard.

    But the same can be said about life. We make of it what we can. The best play the cards they’re dealt without complaint. We find peace, fulfillment, enjoyment in small things that bring a smile to our faces, knowing that, at the end, if we’re lucky, we’ll be fertilizing some future farmers’ fields.

    On the other hand, I do agree with you about spell check.

    Curmudgeon-At-Large
    In Jameson Veritas

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Oh, Cindy, dear That may the onliest thing you and I will ever disagree on.

  • http://www.thepolitikos.com Heloise

    It’s about time. You’ve written what I’ve long been thinking.

    A) why I ranted about articles sitting for hours–making news-not-so newsy!

    B) The blogs/news sites that are BIG also have BIG people behind it i.e., Adrianna Huffington.

    C) We have some of the best editors here…true dat.

    D) We have good opinion articles but the exposure will come, somebody here just has to get famous!

    E) The pundits TV folks are reading our shit…make NO mistake about it.

    F) We ain’t getting NO fuckin’ blogging cred for it…too true!

    G) I would love to do more news stuff if I know it’s not going to freakin sit.

    H) This site is NOT set up like say Huffpo which has blinking/chaning headlines

    I) Should be first maybe–THE politics here is overlorded by a right wing conservative. This is good news and bad news. The right reads us, but not really the left. I wanted us to get more political and lefty but I was outnumbered or out voted or the interest was not there. Not sure.

    What can we do? Find some famous folks to patronize us? Blog Talk Radio will help too.

    Thanks Mark…come back!!

    Heloise

  • Jordan Richardson

    I submit there is no difference between the article & the comments.

    Then I submit you need to work harder on the articles. There ought to be a HUGE difference between an article here and a bunch of chicken scratch that any hick with a local library can punch up.

    Plus, you’re nobody until G-Unit fans hate you.

  • Cindy D

    Lisa,

    Perhaps, but I do disagree, and I disagree in the extreme.

    I will write a treatise on it tomorrow. Moon was a very important person to me. I understand how she wasn’t to many people.

    But, although my double quote was fixed, my question remains unanswered.

    Why is moon gone?

  • zingzing

    i wanna see the latest moon-go-away thread. where is it? i’ve been looking.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Heloise, I just have a few quibbles with your comment.

    This isn’t the site for news. This is Blogcritics. The idea is to be critical, to share opinions. This site is, to the best of my understanding, not designed for “breaking news” or other things of that ilk. Rather, this site is designed to be a hub of intelligent, shrewd individuals to offer commentary, opinion, “spin,” and discussion about the issues that already have broken. We are not CNN.

    This site should be nothing like HuffPo or any similar website. It should be what it is, only it should continue to strive to offer better content. And it does.

    (Not sure what this little BC Rocks my Socks post has to do with “Politics,” but hey…cool!)

  • Cindy D

    make that “double post”

  • http://www.thepolitikos.com Heloise

    You miss my point…I said what you said. We are NOT like Huffpo and hence why I think we are not the go-to blog news site. And we are not newsy but opiniony and erudity :)

    I know what we are–been writing here for over two years…Duh? Are you saying that’s cause I’m black?

    And where the confusion comes in: maybe if we were more like their setup we might get more popular…just thinking out loud.

    Heloise

  • Jordan Richardson

    I think we’re plenty popular.

    Your A and G confused me. You complain about articles sitting for hours (making news not so newsy, I think you said) and you say you would do more “news stuff” if you knew it wasn’t going to “sit.” You can understand how I might have reached my conclusion, yes? Or are you just purposely missing my point because I’m a white Canadian?

  • Clavos

    LOL, Jordan!

  • zingzing

    “Are you saying that’s cause I’m black?”

    POLLS CLOSE TOMORROW!

    it will be ok.

  • Cindy D

    You are probably plenty popular. If you decide to prohibit opinions that are not mainstream left or right you can likely become more popular.

    You can eventually become like any other site that bathes in the wealth of its popularity–of no consequence to anyone with a brain.

    moon said something to this effect:

    prohibido prohibir

    It is prohibited to prohibit. I may have quoted it wrong. I only speak enough Spanish to get by in a Mexican marketplace (in other words if I am accommodated by very generous people in my experience).

    I chose this particular site over left-wing sites. I thought it was unusual and attractive because so many different kinds of posters could express themselves.

    I hope I am worthy of an answer. Why is moon gone?

  • http://www.thepolitikos.com Heloise

    zing, it better be. Because that so and so Arch just attacked Heloise. I’ve been blogging damn near ten years and no fucking blogger has ever been that vicious. I really fear for black people WHEN Obama wins because of shit like that from his ilk.

    [personal attack deleted]

    Heloise

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Okay zing, now I’ll have to figure out what I did with that damned dictionary.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Dear God, I hope Archness isn’t Moonie in drag?!?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I think I’d like to take this time to remind some people around here that there are other sections on Blogcritics. There is a music section, a film/TV section, a sports section, a culture section, and even a section where you can learn about what the latest chocolate tastes like.

    Yes, I maintain that we are plenty popular. And it has nothing to do with what wing someone’s on. It has to do with the fact that we have good quality shit to read.

    I’d also like to take this time to remind some people around here that there is a whole world out there. I suggest that after your joke of an election is over that many of you take a long walk, get some air, and maybe even spend some time with family or friends. Have a glass of wine, smoke a joint, do something else.

    For the sake of humanity, do something else…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    D) We have good opinion articles but the exposure will come, somebody here just has to get famous!

    Let’s draw straws to see who takes a high-powered rifle and gets up on the nearest clocktower.

    G) I would love to do more news stuff if I know it’s not going to freakin sit.

    If it’s a time-sensitive news article we’ll generally get it out pretty damned fast.

    H) This site is NOT set up like say Huffpo which has blinking/chaning headlines

    Sometimes screaming, ranting headlines.

    I) Should be first maybe–THE politics here is overlorded by a right wing conservative. This is good news and bad news. The right reads us, but not really the left. I wanted us to get more political and lefty but I was outnumbered or out voted or the interest was not there. Not sure.

    I want to make one point here which I think is badly needed. Most of the ‘conservative’ writers on this site are NOT the kind of conservatives you’d find on RedState or FreeRepublic (both of which have banned me). Many of us are not religious right people, and we’re not rabid warmongers and we’re not a bunch of nativists and hiomophobes. You lump us with them because we don’t trust the democratic party or like their policies. Take a trip to a hardcore conservative site sometime and then come back to BC and tell us about it.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Cindy, the owners of Blogcritics banned Moon from the site some time ago, following an escalation of malevolence from her which culminated in a particularly offensive remark involving the wife of another commenter.

    For some reason, Chris and I were under the impression that she had merely agreed voluntarily to stop commenting. So when she resurfaced, we let her stay – although, knowing her track record, we kept a close scrutiny on what she wrote.

    However, Eric, Lisa and Phillip have now confirmed that Moon is not welcome on the site, and so we won’t be hearing from her again.

    If you have any further questions, I suggest you contact Eric.

  • http://www.thepolitikos.com Heloise

    Dave, thanks for your reply. And I know you were kidding when referring to the nut who got on the tower at UT Austin, but please don’t use gun, tower and rifle in the same sentence or metaphor or kidding. It makes me nervous…I was talking about getting on TV or recognized for a book or something.

    Yes, you are correct. I read and listen to the shows you reference. Sean and Rush give the right a black eye. For a long time I had no idea you were Republican or conservative. Hell, what am I talking about I’m conservative. Voted for the president (whomever won) for many elections.

    I am a centrist and would appreciate it if everyone were. But truth be told Rush and Sean agreed with me on the bailout…it shouldn’t been done.

    I wanted to write an article “Bailout Meet Bonfire” WTF happened to our dough? And you seemed to think a bailout was okay.

    Heloise

    PS: No more rifle references…please

  • Clavos

    I want to make one point here which I think is badly needed. Most of the ‘conservative’ writers on this site are NOT the kind of conservatives you’d find on RedState or FreeRepublic (both of which have banned me). Many of us are not religious right people, and we’re not rabid warmongers and we’re not a bunch of nativists and hiomophobes. You lump us with them because we don’t trust the democratic party or like their policies. Take a trip to a hardcore conservative site sometime and then come back to BC and tell us about it.

    Damn well said.

    Damn well.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Funny, you never see bumper stickers that say “I VOTED FOR BUSH TWICE!”

  • Cindy D

    Thanks for your reply Dr.D

  • Cindy D

    And Dr.D,

    I wasn’t here in the past. So, I can’t have any opinion on it. I didn’t see anything current that warranted banning. So, I am relieved that it was not something current.

  • Cindy D

    ROFLOL @ Jet!

  • Cindy D

    But still,

    I am extraordinarily sad about moon. I will try to write a letter, not that I expect anything to come of it.

    She had a lot to offer in terms of challenging the “conventional wisdom”. It’s very, very important to have a person like that involved in any debate.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    Cindy, feel free to send me an email and I’ll give you the details on Moon’s departure privately. It’s not something we need to hash over again here. My email is on the front politics page.

    Dave

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle


    Yes, you are correct. I read and listen to the shows you reference. Sean and Rush give the right a black eye. For a long time I had no idea you were Republican or conservative. Hell, what am I talking about I’m conservative. Voted for the president (whomever won) for many elections.

    There are indeed many kinds of conservatives. If you want to hear a conservative talk show host who makes sense and isn’t a ranting nut, see if you can find Neal Boortz. As I recall he is on somewhere in your area. I was able to pick him up when I was there last fall.


    I wanted to write an article “Bailout Meet Bonfire” WTF happened to our dough? And you seemed to think a bailout was okay.

    Me? Come again? I wrote the first of a small number of BC articles questionijng the need for a bailout.

    Dave

  • troll

    it is a mistake to silence Martha’s voice

    …just my opinion but y’all know that already

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Heloise & others. Thanks for good comments. As for news stories, Jordon, there was a time when we/I worked hard to get hard & timely news stories out daily & the editors (I was one at that point) worked just as hard to get them published fast.

    Case in point. My article yesterday about the polls closing the case for ol’ Jug Ears. Was published within an hour.

    And as for the left vs right, Dave’s right that while the righties seem to predominate, except for a few, they’re not the nutballs…usually. We used to have more liberals…me among them…and I hope to be here more often.

    And, as for the posts vs. the comments, the problem with opinion is that unless it’s very cleverly written, it’s just that–opinion. The interesting stuff happens when bright people start debating it, which happens more on this site than others.

    Whew. I’m tired & need a nap.

  • Clavos

    The interesting stuff happens when bright people start debating it, which happens more on this site than others.

    This the chief reason why, when I accidentally stumbled on BC over two years ago, I stuck around.

    Quoted for Truth.

  • Clavos

    My article yesterday about the polls closing the case for ol’ Jug Ears. Was published within an hour.

    So was Heloise’s last. She even thanked me for it…

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I have to agree that it was a mistake to silence Marthe’s voice – but the decision apparently arose from the owners and top manager of the site. We all publish and comment here by their leave, a point well worth remembering.

    Frankly, while the level of discourse here isn’t terrible, I’ve noticed the same arguments over and over and over again. It does get very tiresome.

    On the other hand, original thinking is tiresome. Trying to get an original thought in some of the Jewish sites I’m on is even harder than getting a point across here….

    However, at some of the other sections the comments get even worse, especially the ones that seem devoted to fans. The comments editors will know the sites I’m talking about. They are doomed to read every single comment on here, and I suspect that the “kiddie” sites (Y U HATAS ALWAYS RITN THAT SHIT?) are the ones where they take Tylenol or aspirin before reading. What kids used to writing text messages do to English is shameful.

    One article on Japanese racism against whites has inspired so many hateful and idiotic comments (most of which have not only nothing to do with the article but display more than adequately why the Japanese should be contemptuous of both whites and blacks) that they make the nastiest comments here look like sweetness and light by comparison.

  • zingzing

    dave–trying to email you about that moon thing. but the republic… email is sending back an error.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    troll @ #55, Ruvy @ 59:

    Indeed, gentlemen.

  • Baronius

    Maybe the Moon thing isn’t worth recounting, but there are enough newcomers to this site like Cindy who should probably hear the story.

    Moon was on this site a few years back, for maybe 8 months. During that time she posted thousands of times. Most of those would eventually be deleted as personal attacks. It became impossible to decipher comments threads, as people would be responding to removed comments, and some of those would be removed as well. I’m not faulting the Comments Editors; they did an amazing job removing all the insults.

    Moon had pet attacks for different people. Some guys were gay, or had small equipment. A few gals were fat and needed to have more sex. Everyone was a liar and a moron, and many of us were murderers. On an average visit, 3-4 of the 5 Fresh Comments would be insults from Moon.

    Moon had her defenders, a few of them. Of course, as Lisa recently found out, it didn’t matter if you agreed with Moon. She’d find a reason to harass you. But some people felt that the greater crime would be silencing her. (I was not one of them.) Eventually, she came up with a couple of pet attacks that got her removed from the site.

    We lost quite a few interesting people during those months.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    Thank you for your consideration. I just emailed Dave and I thank him for his.

    My experience with moon was, like zing’s (before she was banned). I was afraid to talk directly to her. I feared her. Though I had a gut respect for her. When she came back during my brief time here, I finally engaged her. I found that illuminating. Her viewpoint is one that gets no voice in our culture.

    In the words of Mark Schannon, whom I have come to respect in my short reading of him, and who has not expressed any opinions that would suggest a ban,

    “And what did happen to Moon. She’s been cranky but not particularly nasty in the comments I’ve seen. We need her….”

    I think moon is a vital voice in a community such as Blogcritics and a unique and necessary voice. Why not dwell on the present, rather than the past?

  • zingzing

    see, cindy, the thing is that moon was pushing people away from the site. having her around was fun (and i was never scared of her, i just lost respect for her,) but her being around meant that a BUNCH of interesting points of view were being lost. a lot of people would stop showing up if she was around. so she had to go.

    were you able to get through to dave’s email? mine just bounced back.

  • zingzing

    but i hate to see a banning. even just one man should be allowed back in. as disgusting as i find him, i’m sure he found me equally so. and i can be quite offensive when i want to be.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    No Comment, Zing

  • zingzing

    that, in itself, dear sir, is a comment. and i am deeply troubled by it. if you are commenting on what i think you are commenting on. and then if you are, i don’t deserve it! i am innocent! a lamb…

  • Cindy D

    zing,

    Then I guess i was mistaken. Our impressions were decidedly not the same.

  • zingzing

    meh–i didn’t disagree with MUCH of what she had to say, politically. other than her ridiculous racism and constant charges of sexism. i respected her opinion and knowledge on SOME subjects.

    but i just didn’t like the way she “communicated” with others. it was… bitchy, to say the least.

  • Cindy D

    zing,

    Dave’s email:

    Technical details of permanent failure:
    Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 unrouteable address (state 14).

    Whatever the fuck that may mean.

    Sorry Zing, I did not mean to recount your position as “fearful” of moon.

    I merely related to some post or other you made. Probably in my imagination.

  • zingzing

    cindy–after i tried sending the email the traditional way, i went to the republic of dave website and used the “contact” portion of the website. maybe that will work. but i haven’t heard back from him yet.

  • Cindy D

    I am likely to think that the entire fucking world is probably something I imagined.

    It’s all GOOD! There is no injustice–anywhere! You may all go back to your cubicles.

  • Jordan Richardson

    It’s getting mighty weird around here…

  • Cindy D

    yes weird indeed, perhaps I should fear for my posting privilege.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, I know the least satisfying answer in the world is “you had to be there”. Me, I’ll talk to anyone, but there was no point in talking to Moon.

  • Cindy D

    Thank you Baronius,

    I did find a point though. In the contemporary sense.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zing, I did get your email. No idea what’s up with the bouncing messages. Look for my response shortly.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    So, Stan, America DID elect a black man to be president after all.

    Are you paying up with London or the brick?

  • STM

    Some comments editor you are Doc, I’ve already left a message on one of these threads.

    Finding it can be your challenge while I’m wrapping the brick :)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Sorry, mate, Chris left me seven pages of unedited comments to plough through and I hadn’t got to yours yet!

    You can send the brick to London.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    My dear Cindy.

    I wonder, really, what you think Moon, in any of her incarnations, has brought to this site, save for ugliness, vitriol, and at the very least, major discomfort to many who write here? In the four months since I have become a blog critic writer, I have seen her banned 3 times and come back 3 times, for what reasons I do not know.

    She does not write a thing, only posts. Sometimes dozens and dozens of times a day.

    For what reason?

    Save for to choose a person with whom to pick a fight and then launch into unwarranted and horrible attacks for little reason. I know, I was one of them.

    I chose not to engage her and told her so, but she continued to slip in ugly and racist remarks toward me that made me wish to leave the site. So I fought back.

    I was warned. But I couldn’t let her say such amazingly ignorant and racist things.

    Luckily, some of the editors here like and value my work and did not wish me to leave.

    Cindy, you only post, too. But when you post you are not ugly. You back up your posts with evidence. You are funny and clever. You disagree with people politely (usually:) and never name call. Your politics are evident (and often the same as mine and the same as Moon whose politics I often agree with) but you never damn a whole country, you never sneer and are never snide or racist or downright nasty. You never yell or scream or rage on and on and on. You never resort to stereotype. You never pick fights just for the hell of it.

    What on earth does she bring to the table?

    There are many other people who live overseas or have traveled there, me among them. Dozens in fact, who can bring that kind of knowledge she can.

    There are tons of us Liberals or Progressives or Moderates to temper the conservatives and downrights Right-Wingers, you among the best.

    There are thoughtful and intelligent discussions to which she has never added anything of use.

    If she has caused one poster or ONE potential critic to think twice about coming to this site, that is bad. If she makes the editors uncomfortable, that is bad. If she makes writers not wish to open the site, that is bad.

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why she keeps coming back just to throw up all over this site when it is clear that no one here really suits her, save, perhaps one or two people with whom she sometimes agrees. Mostly she just loves calling the whole US of A stupid Gringos who vote for no reasons for idiot assholes who don’t matter and are all idiots while she is the only one in the universe who knows anything about anthing including anything about foreign relations, race, religion, or, as far as I can tell, cooking, politics, and life in general.

    She seems like a bitter old lady to me. And I think most of those on this site feel this way. You are in the minority, I fear, and may have to stay that way, as the argument against her turning up here again is strong.

    She is just plain offensive for no reason except her own aggrandizement.

    You offer everything, poltically, she does, with much more aplomb and none of the ugly aftertaste.

    Sincerely,
    LSW

  • troll

    LSW… by demanding her banning you have eliminated any chance of reasoned conflict resolution – another example of the underlying nature and failure of so called liberalism

    (Jet – same goes for your treatment of JOM)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    troll, as I’m sure you’re well aware, it was extremely difficult to reason with moon at all. Her banning had nothing at all to do with liberalism, it had to do with her poor impulse control.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    No, I did not demand it. I compained about her continued racism and antisemtism and her hatefilled screeds against America.

    I tried reconciliation but she would have none of it. I even offered a truce. She never responded.

    I think whoever said that once she has her claws in you it is impossible is right.

    I have watched others apologize, which I would never do as I did nothing wrong, and watched her ugliness about that.

    She rules in her own fiefdom. I think it better just to let her go. All she is is a poster. Why let her ruin a site just as a random person who makes ugly posts when she offers nothing in the way of reasoned discourse or articles on music,culture, books, television, which is what this site was set up originally for?

    The editors have the right to monitor this as they see fit. Just as any editor as the right to accept or reject any article to any publication he or she edits. Or any book to any publishing house he or she works for.

    Your argument holds no water.

  • Clavos

    I think troll was referring to Lisa’s and Jet’s liberalism, Chris, not moon’s, who is arguably the most illiberal commenter ever to have “graced” these threads.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, yes, I know. Try to keep up old timer!

    Moon was far from the most illiberal commenter on this site. We have several editors and lots of writers here who are far more illiberal…

  • Clavos

    We have several editors and lots of writers here who are far more illiberal…

    Interesting…I know of no editor who has attempted to squelch others’ opinions and right to express them half so vociferously as moon.

    Her advocacy of liberal issues was totally negated by her illiberality on the issue of freedom of speech.

    No editor on this site is guilty of that.

  • Clavos

    Clavos, yes, I know. Try to keep up old timer!

    Thanks for the advice, Chris, I’ll give it my best shot.

    And just to keep it fair, I’ll tie half my brain behind my back…

  • Baronius

    Hey, Lisa! We “just posters” contribute too! And Moon did have her own perspective, as a pro-Chavez anti-American, in the 4% of her posts that were lucid. That’s why she had her defenders. However, I still think that Cindy saw the first five minutes of Misery and thinks that the nice lady rescued the writer.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    ‘Just posters’ contribute lots and lots if they aren’t continually hate filled… or always ugly or just plain nuts. You are not.

    mmm, how do you come up with 4%? I did like her pro-Chavez baiting. Why don’t you take over that position????

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    “I know of no editor who has attempted to squelch others’ opinions”

    That’s why you need to keep up, Clavos.

    “I’ll tie half my brain behind my back…”

    Now that’s something I would pay money to see!

  • troll

    Chris – I am aware of who she is…

    LSW – I disagree with your assessment of the value of her comments – she’s a well of knowledge if one can only figure a way to tap into it

    coming to an understanding of her wrath and figuring out how to communicate around it wouldn’t hurt any of us

    …all moot now I guess

  • Clavos

    Chris,

    Since you’re being coy, I’m not going to attempt to address innuendo.

    I will say that disagreement, however vehement, is not an attempt to squelch.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I disagree with your assessment of the value of her comments – she’s a well of knowledge if one can only figure a way to tap into it. Coming to an understanding of her wrath and figuring out how to communicate around it wouldn’t hurt any of us.

    quoted for truth, troll. Mind you, she is the one who said, “Israel should be decountrified”. So at first reading her comments really pissed me off.

    I found out that Marthe Raymond is indeed a well of knowledge, and I was able to find away around her wrath and benefit from her knowledge. Under the knowledge is a witty and intelligent woman who has suffered much in the world. Her persona, “moonraven”, was designed to peck at the fools she could not easily suffer. As “moon”, she tried to put the persona away and communicate as a person.

    One of the lessons we all learn eventually, is that we cannot please everyone – so it’s worthless to try.

  • Les Slater

    Baronius #62,

    “We lost quite a few interesting people during those months.”

    This is very true. I thought that moon did have a wealth of information. Once, when she was a quite low ebb of her welcome, I quoted her as a resource to back up a point I was making. Nobody even challenged me for using her as an authoritative resource, never mind ridiculing me for it. She did have some valid arguments, but she, did indeed, drive people away.

    Essentially her contributions were anti-democratic, in that she had no tolerance for other’s opinions.

    I am a communist and make no bones about it. Many, of course, disagree with what I have to say, but have never been threatened with banishment.

    I think moon has a serious inferiority complex. She insults others in a futile attempt to convince herself that she is not as inferior as she fears she is. The result is not only destructive to discourse on the likes of BC, but also to herself. I doubt she has much of a welcome anywhere. She must be quite lonely.

    Les

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    #82-Troll, JOM repeatedly and constantly wrote embarrassing comments on every article I wrote, disparaging everything from accusing me of plagarism, to making fag jokes. Those on articles that I hoped to promote reading by my friends and family, but couldn’t because of the insults he posted.

    As his other victims raised objections, the sheer volume of complaints rightly and justifiably banned him from this website.

    He was repeatedly given more and more rope to reform, and he decided to hang himself instead.

  • Baronius

    Les, my own theory about Moon is that she’s not real. “Moonraven” is some computer terminal in a grad-school Conflict Resolution study, to watch how different political types react to abuse. I’m not being facetious when I say that. The tipoff was the way she’d twist any support into an insult against her. I resent that kind of tampering with one of the best forums on the internet (whether she’s real or not).

  • Cindy D

    Lisa,

    The problem with “nice people”.

    moon’s expression of her point of view was a direct, noisy, offensive challenge to the imperialistic attitude of superiority, subordination and dominion over foreign people (and indigenous people) the U.S. has been engaged in since its inception. That is something, in my view, that need’s challenging. Not just by “nice people”. “Nice people” aren’t supposed to be blatant in their condemnation of American imperialism. And “nice people”, as a part of that hegemonic* culture, are so immersed in it that we haven’t learned much of what questions we need to even ask. moon has experience, background, and a perspective on that that neither you nor I have. She has something I could have learned from. She could have helped me learn what questions to ask, where I didn’t even think a question existed.

    I don’t like to argue simply for the sake of argument or counting how many people agree with me. Why should I spend time arguing with people on a web site unless there was the possibility that I could learn something I don’t even know that I don’t know? Assimilation stunts intellectual growth. I want my perspective challenged.

    You saw her as having zero contribution. I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. As far as turning people away from the site, this doesn’t speak to the enterprise of operating a site; but I wonder why those people couldn’t simply ignore her. I could have made it my goal to take umbrage with a number of people who post here and to continually engage them and campaign for a consensus of like minds until I felt justified in calling for their removal, and had I been of value as a writer, threatening to leave.

    I will very much miss the opportunity I have lost.

    “I found out that Marthe Raymond is indeed a well of knowledge, and I was able to find away around her wrath and benefit from her knowledge. Under the knowledge is a witty and intelligent woman who has suffered much in the world. Her persona, “moonraven”, was designed to peck at the fools she could not easily suffer. As “moon”, she tried to put the persona away and communicate as a person.

    One of the lessons we all learn eventually, is that we cannot please everyone – so it’s worthless to try.”

    “…coming to an understanding of her wrath and figuring out how to communicate around it wouldn’t hurt any of us…”

    Both quoted for truth.

    *HEGEMONY (hegemonic): The processes by which dominant culture maintains its dominant position: for example, the use of institutions to formalize power; the employment of a bureaucracy to make power seem abstract (and, therefore, not attached to any one individual); the inculcation of the populace in the ideals of the hegomonic group through education, advertising, publication, etc.; the mobilization of a police force as well as military personnel to subdue opposition.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, if you feel that way then take up the challenge. Make the contribution that you think she did. I personally can’t imagine reading it, but neither would I – nor anyone – campaign against you saying it.

    I’m the most frequent commenter that could be categorized as a member of the religious right. That’s a group that’s been dismissed by many of our regulars including this site’s editors. That doesn’t faze me though. It’s inspired me to step up, to understand and articulate all the arguments for social conservatism.

  • Les Slater

    Cindy,

    “…the employment of a bureaucracy to make power seem abstract (and, therefore, not attached to any one individual).

    In reality, it is the individual that is often used to disguise that power is really held by a class.

    Who do you believe is that one individual in the U.S.?

    Les

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Jet,

    There is a difference between insulting remarks coming from a well of sheer stupidity coupled with sheer malice and viciousness and the inability to suffer what appears to be, shall we say, vacuousness in viewpoints. Both are hurtful – agreed. But one needs to consider the source nevertheless. Bear in mind, again, Marthe called for (and continues to call for) the “decountrification” of Israel. Were I a true Zionist, I would be insulted to the depths of my soul. I’m no longer a Zionist, and have been forced to admit (from different sources) the immense responsibility the Labor Zionists had for many deaths in the holocaust.

    Also do not forget, JOM followed me around like a smelly dog, leaving his insults like a dog leaves feces for everyone to step in. In all of his comments harassing me, he made one, count ’em, ONE intelligent comment. He richly deserved the title “just one brain cell”.

    And one also needs to recognize that there is a difference between a persona and a person. “Moonraven” was a persona, a mask. After all, the mask may well have been there to protect the person underneath from insulting comments. She received her fair share of insulting comments also. When I read from one of her comments that “moonraven” was a persona, that was the first thought that occurred to me. And I behaved accordingly and got through the mask – to the intelligent person beneath.

  • http://blogcritics.org/video Lisa McKay

    Cindy D, I’m the executive editor here and I invite you to drop me an email at lisa dot mckay at blogcritics dot org.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I don’t care how smart or “knowledgeable” an individual Moon is (stop saying “was,” she’s not dead). She was callous, insulting, condescending, racist, and consistently angry regardless of the subject. One imagines large streams of spit flowing from her mouth as she types her retorts. I won’t miss her for a second.

    There are ways to express opinions that are progressive, informative, enlightening, and so forth without denigrating each and every person you are talking to. I question how “smart” someone actually is if they consistently need to take the same insulting route on their way to enlightenment. How “smart” is Moonraven when she is so crippled by her own anger that she can barely compose coherent thoughts?

    Frankly, she was one of the reasons I made my time on BC Politics more sparse. Perhaps you can thank her for that, I’m not too sure. But the bottom line is that an individual like that does little to actually contribute and more to divide. We get it: we’re all evil white people that stole “her” land and we need to be consistently and deeply sorry for the rest of our lives, all the while groveling at her feet while she calls us racists, Gringos, assholes, and insults are wives and children.

    Her goal was to insult, not to inform. Moon is hardly some heroic figure typing away on a message board planting the seeds of enlightenment. Instead, she is a vindictive, mean individual and I hope she never comes back.

  • Jordan Richardson

    *our wives and children, I mean.

    Sorry, I’ve an Obamover.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Jordan and I and many others do not hide under bizarre personas; we are who we are and we write and publish accordingly, taking our own risks. We had not then nor have we now any one to “protect” us from either Moon’s insulting comments or anyone else’s.

  • Les Slater

    “‘Nice people’ aren’t supposed to be blatant in their condemnation of American imperialism. And ‘nice people’, as a part of that hegemonic* culture, are so immersed in it that we haven’t learned much of what questions we need to even ask.”

    Malcolm X was a ‘nice’ person. He did not hesitate to condemn imperialism. Neither was he a part of, or party to, any hegemonic culture.

    He also did not hesitate to explain that voting for the fox was in no way superior to voting for the wolf.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    There is one last comment that I think needs to be made here concerning Marthe and the controversy that surrounded her. This comment is directed not at my fellow writers or commenters, but at the owners of the site.

    A restarurant owner or manager is responsible for the entire operation of his restaurant. This doesn’t just mean delegating someone to clean the toilets, it also means getting down on one’s hand and knees and teaching employees how to clean a toilet properly and enforcing the standards expected. The owner of the restaurant I worked at never shirked from getting on her hands and knees and scrubbing out the grease on the floors underneath the fryers. She gave us hell afterwards for not doing OUR jobs, but she saw to it that the job got done, even if she had to do it herself.

    There was a very painful exchange where one of the commenters was terribly hurt by the remark that Marthe made. At this point, it fell on the owner to knock heads together and get mad, getting on the comment thread himself if neccesary. He is responsible for all that is in his domain. He ought to have demanded an apology, and then failing to get that, banned the offending person.

    This may have occurred. I do not know and do not make accusations. If it did occur than these remarks are superfluous. But in his position, this is what I would have done. Elsewhere, on a different list, I succeeded in shaming the moderators to attempt to do their job, doing something like this on that list.

    Just a thought for the future….

  • Baronius

    What I like about this site is that an article saying “I like this site” gets a 107-comment-long argument. We’re the best. Absolutely crazy.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Ruvy, my concern was what others that I’d invited to read one of my articles had to slog through his assertions that I plagarized everything I wrote because I was an untalented hack (among other things). That’s why at one point I had my friends read my identical articles on my own web page, where I have ultimate control of the comments being posted as well as picture size and placement.

    Now that he’s gone, my friends are directed here now, not that my own site isnt good, I just like the “braggability” and prestige of saying I’m being published at BC…

    Now that “it’s” gone that is.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    You were afraid your friends would believe an Internet stranger’s assessment of you?

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Baronius, well said. Who knew?

    I was an assistant political editor when the issue of Moonraven & JOM first came up. There was a spirited and open discussion about how to handle them. Most of us wanted to err way on the side of inclusion, but the two of them continued to post comments that would be banned on any other site. As one of the liberal members of the editorial board, I can honestly say that the discussion was ideological, it revolved around the potential damage being done by these two.

    Someone…I forget who…was sent out to try to reason with both of them. They were given a number of chances to tone down their hate-filled, insulting, hurtful blather. JOM was a lost cause from the beginning & we all voted to boot him off.

    Moonraven at least tried to tone her idiocy down, but it kept flaring up, and, at last, almost all the editors agreed that she was damaging the site.

    When I returned to BC recently & encountered Moon, I found her, at first, someone with whom I could engage, albeit on booze not politics.

    But tragically, she has an evil demon inside her that overpowers the very real contributions she could make. The current editors have every right to ban her…I’d say responsibility if she drives people away.

    What BC Politics has to do is expand and get noticed for the wonderfully bizarre place it is. When newcomers get slammed by people like Moon, we run the risk of losing them.

    And that’s the truth, because as you all know by now,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    If they didn’t know who the source was Suss, yes

  • Jordan Richardson

    Well said, Mark. Agree 100%.

  • zingzing

    dave–no email yet. have you sent it?

    moon and jom deserved banning. it’s just too bad it had to be done.

  • Cindy D

    Les,

    In reality, it is the individual that is often used to disguise that power is really held by a class. Who do you believe is that one individual in the U.S.?

    I would agree that this seems very true in the way you are relating it to politics. Of course it would be the president. Despite that, I argue that it doesn’t discount the definition as it specifically addresses culture.

    Although I didn’t write that definition, this is the way I understand its meaning. When speaking in terms of cultural hegemony it has a different route of operation than what you described. It exists as a pervasive “norm”, imposes itself as reality, and is resident in institutions as an abstract power, rather than a power that comes from an individual. Education and schools is one of my favorite examples. It is also imbued through media and through advertising. This again is not an individual power, it’s a pervasive indoctrinating cultural influence. It’s extraordinarily powerful. It explains, for example, how an otherwise “freedom professing” people could commit genocide and enslave people. But it also explains our everyday ordinary thinking, our perspective, and what we take for granted.

    You may be familiar with Antonio Gramsci‘s development of the concept.

    Capitalism, Gramsci suggested, maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion, but also ideologically, through a hegemonic culture in which the values of the bourgeoisie became the ‘common sense’ values of all. Thus a consensus culture developed in which people in the working-class identified their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, and helped to maintain the status quo rather than revolting.

    This point of view has been adopted by some in the social sciences to explain what happens when cultures collide where there is an imbalance in power, which there always is.

  • Cindy D

    Well, I have expressed my feelings on the subject of moon. And it was beneficial to air them. I also appreciated some of the other opinions and background–which gives me perspective.

    I do think the comments editors are more than fair. There are sites where one can’t say “shit.” literally. :-) And I didn’t mean to imply an unfairness.

    It was just a loss for me personally. I am not the only one who exists in the world. My personal feelings are just that. Thanks for letting me vent that.

  • Cindy D

    Les,

    It depends what one applies the term hegemonic. I have found it applicable to any culture where there is an imbalance of power. For example, a high school clic is a culture.

    In Malcom X’s case, in terms of the general culture of the U.S., he was a member of the subordinate culture, not the dominant one. He made it part of a practice to act against the hegemonic dominant culture.

    As far as being a “nice” person goes, I guess it depends on how one defines the term. In this case I was making reference to a potential problem of being a “nice” person. It can stifle certain kinds of valuable expression. As I am about to explain in a comment to Lisa below.

    And Lisa (SW),

    Jordan and I and many others do not hide under bizarre persona…

    That is a fine thing for you. Which says nothing about its right or wrongness for someone else.

    One difference between us, and it is only my impression, is that marking agreement and alliance have importance to you–along with asserting what is/is not appropriate while perceiving your view about such things as the correct one. I find it vaguely discomforting, authoritarian and in some way controlling. But I can tolerate difference.

    The problem with being a “nice” person is that if I go by the rules of “niceness”, I certainly couldn’t say that–even if I think it’s true.

    One begins to hesitate to be frank, running a comment through these filters of alliance and friendship and niceness.

    A persona does not require that, it can be self-protective and also freeing.

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Cindy,

    Some of us use our real names because we were too stupid to realize how easy it is to search on our names and see the outrageous things we’ve said.

    Others have reached a point in our lives where we simply don’t give a shit anymore if someone’s offended.

    I fit both of those categories.

    Still others are much more careful, so they don’t worry about what they say on line. Personally, I don’t understand that degree of self discipline.

    But given how easy it is to say something stupid in a post or comment, if I were much, much, much younger, I’d certainly use a pseudonym. Even now, when I may be ready to relaunch my career, I wonder what will come back to haunt me, LOL.

    But, then again, I am the…

    Curmudgeon-At-Large
    In Jameson Veritas

  • Les Slater

    Cindy,

    What I meant by ‘nice’ with Malcolm is he did not feel the need to insult those he was communicating with. Some of what he said was not considered ‘nice’ by some, not because it insulted, but it was the truth. Malcolm was hated by many because he told the truth, not any lack of politeness.

    Neither moon nor JOM were banned because of the content of what they were saying. They were banned because they were driving people away that were trying to exchange ideas and not have to deal with attacks and insults.

    Maybe you, me and others can stand up to this kind of treatment but it does none of us any good if a broad sampling of people that have worthwhile contributions don’t feel they can express themselves here.

    I don’t see anything insulting with your concerns with Lisa that you are expressing in your #117. These are certainly concerns worthy of discussion. I don’t find them un-nice.

    Of course some of the things that you say about the government, some politicians and maybe titans of the financial industry aren’t nice, but that’s not what were talking about.

    You are nice, stop worrying.

    Les

  • Cindy D

    Oh one more thing Les,

    He also did not hesitate to explain that voting for the fox was in no way superior to voting for the wolf.

    We’re different in that I presume being a Marxist would require accepting the necessity of an overthrow of government or a revolution. Am I wrong?

    As a Libertarian Socialist or Anarchist and pacifist, I don’t believe in violent revolution. I am inclined to see an Obama presidency as some relief to a large number of people. Also, I think he’s not a war-monger. The Bush administration has scared me and made me bitter. I did not like the foreign relations stances I heard from McCain. And Palin as ridiculous as she was, was goosestepping to the tune of war being something having anything to do with god. Also, I would like to have an environment left if anyone does decide to have a revolution. So, I advocated on Obama’s behalf. He’s a Capitalist. Capitalism is likely going to be what I live with the rest of my life.

    What do you think Les. What do you think about preventing state socialism?

  • http://www.thepolitikos.com Heloise

    Jet, #96, I recall JOM and he or she writing vituperative remarks on some of my early articles. I know that name has not been around for a while and one can breathe some fresh air.

    I’ve been banned…shit happens. I learned from being banned. In fact that’s how I ended up here! I wanted to write politico-spiritual stuff, that’s how I started using politico because I was linking them, and recalled that it was an old word for pols, anyway, the spiritual groups I was foisting my politico stuff on were having none of it.

    They called me a troll and I stuck to my ttt talking to myself for a long time, been blogging online for nearly 10 years, then the rest is history…I came here in 2006.

    I was already Heloise, but began using it exclusively when Lisa asked me to write as Heloise. Was going to be an editor but I am way too busy and Dave don’t like me–just kidding.

    Heloise

  • http://www.thepolitikos.com Heloise

    Heloise called it in terms of Obama winning 8 states he should not have won, due to Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy. But that could change if other states get called for him.

    Heloise Obama’s lucky 8, ain’t it great. I am still celebrating…drank too much sparkling grape juice!!

  • Cindy D

    Neither moon nor JOM were banned because of the content of what they were saying. They were banned because they were driving people away that were trying to exchange ideas and not have to deal with attacks and insults.

    Maybe you, me and others can stand up to this kind of treatment but it does none of us any good if a broad sampling of people that have worthwhile contributions don’t feel they can express themselves here.

    Yes, that is very true.

  • Les Slater

    Cindy,

    “We’re different in that I presume being a Marxist would require accepting the necessity of an overthrow of government or a revolution. Am I wrong?”

    I’m a democrat. I don’t think any government can be imposed on a majority against their will. I am for convincing people that fundamental change is necessary.

    However, I have no faith that the dictatorship of a very small minority, the capitalist class, would submit peacefully to the will of the majority.

    The next question is, does the majority have a right to defend itself from the violence of the minority? Do we have a right to govern in our interests?

    “What do you think about preventing state socialism?”

    I think that a state that excludes the exploiting minority is a necessity. It is also necessary to have an organized resistance to what the exploiting class will do to get power back in their hands.

    But with the resistance of the exploiting minority finally and fully defeated, and rendered impotent, then we, democratically, will decide on what functions of the state that we need.

    Working people, the creators of all wealth, want, and need, an efficient, low cost and un-intrusive state.

    All this needs to be based on the best of democracies. This can only be built democratically.

    Les

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    “‘Nice people’ aren’t supposed to be blatant in their condemnation of American imperialism. And ‘nice people’, as a part of that hegemonic* culture, are so immersed in it that we haven’t learned much of what questions we need to even ask.”

    To hell with ‘nice’ people. I’ll take sensible and rational people. You know, the kind who don’t talk about ‘condemnation of American imperialism’ and other bizarre exercises in mythology and self-flagellation.

    Dave

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    A country’s sacred constitution should be a document that bestows rights on to a governed people, not take them, or exclude them away…

    Thought that up all by myself

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    “Our movement took a grip on cowardly Marxism and from it extracted the meaning of socialism. It also took from the cowardly middle-class parties their nationalism. Throwing both into the cauldron of our way of life there emerged, as clear as a crystal, the synthesis – German National Socialism.”

    Hermann Goering

  • Les Slater

    Jet,

    What are you trying to say? Are you using Goering to claim Marxism is cowardly?

    I also hope you are not using Goering to defend the nationalism of both U.S. ruling parties. It is true that they are both nationalists in the most reactionary way but why use Goering to defend that?

    Marxism is neither cowardly nor nationalist.

    Les

  • Les Slater

    “A country’s sacred constitution should be a document that bestows rights on to a governed people, not take them, or exclude them away…”

    The U.S. constitution, while permitting slavery, did exclude any rights of royalty, the right to govern by birth.

    Also, that document states in the first amendment ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…’. The country’s constitution can in no way be considered ‘sacred’.

    Les

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    A country’s sacred constitution should be a document that bestows rights on to a governed people, not take them, or exclude them away…

    Even the US constitution doesn’t bestow rights. Rights come from nature and are inherent in human existence. All the constitution does is to recognize those rights and make clear that the government must protect them. It is absolutely not the source of the rights.

    Dave

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Is there any comment that I can possibly make on this website that you guys won’t jump on and make me look like a complete idiot?

    Don’t answer, it was a rhetorical question

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    We only jump on you in the most positive and supportive ways, Jet.

    Dave

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I’ll write that down on a post-it note and stick to my monitor…

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Dave Letterman had a few good ones tonight…

    “Last night around 11, CNN announced that Obama had it by a landslide at something like 343 to 95; or as Fox News would say ‘too close to call'”

    “I wonder; would the current administration object if Obama started a little early?”

  • Cannonshop

    #126 A constitution doesn’t “Bestow” rights, it defines which rights the Government may excercise, and which rights the government does not have.

    #127 Why are you calling Obama a Nazi? I mean, sure, most of that applies to the Democratic Strategy, but it’s really, really ugly to bring it up, and Obama’s more of a Chavista than anything else.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    oy vay

  • Jordan Richardson

    Obama’s more of a Chavista than anything else.

    Really? I always figured him to be more of a Kardashian.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Robert George Kardashian (February 22, 1944 – September 30, 2003) was an American lawyer best known as one of the lawyers for, and friend of, O.J. Simpson.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Kimberly Noel Kardashian (born October 21, 1980) is an American celebutante/socialite, model, apparel retailer, and television personality. She is perhaps best known for her social life, stolen sex tape with blogger Jordan Richardson, and her role on the E! reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Actually I thought you misstyped one of the characters from Star Trek Deep Space 9… silly really.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Cindy, Re “nice,” never used that word. Hate it. Doesn’t apply to moon or me. Has nothing to do with my discussion of her. But I don’t think we need her to discuss difficult topics, including the ones you mention, especially in light of the attributes she also has that I and others mention. Her negatives far outweight her positives.

    And I post under my own name because at this point I is what I is, Mark:)

  • troll

    once again approaching such an ambivalent state recently (don’cha just hate it when that happens) that I’ve felt the need to self-censor just about all censure (the natural mode of expression for trolls) and therefore the overwhelming majority of my graffiti here – my alienation from this space becomes both objective and subjective

    …or perhaps (anachronism that I am) I simply have nothing more to say in the face of failed experiments in sympathetic communication

    outliers rock – but hegemonic hypocrisy rolls on and on

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    You betcha, Lisa. We gotta keep each other’s backs.

    What a delightfully bizarre discussion. I’ve enjoyed all the different threads, even when I’ve had trouble figuring out what the hell’s being discussed.

    RE: Is the constitution sacred? No if you mean in the religious sense or the literal definition, but for those of us who are hard-core, immovable agnostics (joke there), sacred still has meaning. Until recently, I thought of the constitution as sacred, as in something to be treated with awe and respect, left untouched except in the most extreme cases.

    However, in an article by Dave–I of course forget which one–we had a discussion about whether an 18th century document is capable of providing a framework for the 21st century. If, in fact, it’s not, it’s no longer sacred…simply magnificent.

    And that’s the truth, because…wait for it…

    In Jameson Veritas,

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    And I agree with you there, too. I even have a feeling that, were Jefferson alive today, he would, too, smart as he was. But who the hell really knows?

  • Cindy D

    Jet,

    I’m not sure what you meant by your Goering quote. But, I have a sense of it being some implied guilt by association. So, I’m presenting some considerations.

    On the meanings of words, here is a quote from a New Yorker article:

    As a buzzword, “socialism” had mostly good connotations in most of the world for most of the twentieth century. That’s why the Nazis called themselves national socialists. That’s why the Bolsheviks called their regime the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, obliging the socialist and social democratic parties of Europe (and America, for what it was worth) to make rescuing the “good name” of socialism one of their central missions. Socialists—one thinks of men like George Orwell, Willy Brandt, and Aneurin Bevan—were among Communism’s most passionate and effective enemies. And I will disambiguate “Communism” here to mean a totalitarian state.

    Nationalist Socialism was a totalitarian propaganda movement used by Hitler to win support. It advocated allegiance to a dictator. “Socialism” with it’s positive connotations was used by Hitler as an instrument of propaganda to attract the masses and play on their fear of the Russian Bolshevik revolution (later The Communist Party).

    As you Goering quote belies. “Our movement took a grip on cowardly Marxism and from it extracted the meaning of socialism.” In more accurate words they twisted the meaning. The National Socialist movement has zero to do with the principles of Socialism.

    National Socialism was similar in many respects to Italian fascism (see Fascism). The roots of National Socialism, however, were peculiarly German, grounded, for example, in the Prussian tradition of military authoritarianism and expansion; in the German romantic tradition of hostility to rationalism, liberalism, and democracy…

    Here is another German fellow speaking out in urgent support of Socialism, Why Socialism? by Albert Einstein.

    You might also wish to look at Socialism as practiced in all the Nordic countries and elsewhere.

  • Cindy D

    Lisa,

    Re “nice,” never used that word. Hate it.

    Quite right. You didn’t. I did. I used it as a descriptive category, as a contrast to, among other things that one might do (see troll’s comment #142), what moon was doing. You may hate the word, but you embody my use of it.

    For example. I think moon’s angry gringolandia comments had merit and truth. ‘Course they weren’t very nice were they.

    But I don’t think we need her to discuss difficult topics, including the ones you mention…

    This demonstrates a failure on your part to grasp my point. I realize you don’t think that. My point is you cannot possibly be who you are AND be a voice directly from someone that isn’t you.

    It’s like only getting the white perspective on slavery and eliminating the actual voice of the slave. It’s like the book Black Like Me. (An excellent book, and nothing wrong with it.) We have plenty of black voices in history, but it takes a white guy to pretend to be black and write a book on his black experience to catch the attention of a large audience in the white community.

    I am never going to be a slave, a black, a Native American, gay, a minority, etc. I am never going to get all I can from listening to other people who will likewise never be those things.

    And frankly, it’s like being tossed into a forum of left leaning Capitalists and hearing, “we can discuss the issues of the left.”

    Note: On my use of the word “persona”. I wasn’t meaning the pen names people use. I was specifically using it the way Ruvy did (#101), having also read moon’s comment he referenced. moonraven being the persona and moon being an attempt to move beyond merely expressing that persona.

    Her negatives far outweight her positives.

    I could not disagree more. Although at times I have thought some of yours do.

    Suffice it to say that I do agree, though, with what Les said as I quoted in #123.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    If you have time, please go to my blogspot, look up my e-mail address and give me a holler.

    TIA,
    Ruvy

  • http://booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Bluntly it is akin to the “Broken Windows” phenomenen – If a window gets broken and you repair it immediately, the other windows are unlikely to be broken. If however you leave the broken window in its state, you tacitly encourage others to break windows and create the impression that such behavior is acceptable and the norm.

    When a commenter veers off of the stated norms for behavior that are acceptable on the site (and that varies from site to site), you need to have some element of moderation in place. Without moderation, you tend to get an escalation of the immoderate voices – the extreme positions, the trolls and people who’s sole purpose is disruption or personal aggrandizement.

    The abuse, the name-calling, and the poisonous atmosphere that can ensue will tend to push out the more moderate viewpoints, and give free-rein to the extremists from all camps. Once you have that situation, you are actively discouraging comments and frankly readers, and you end up with a site that caters to only a select few interested in trumpeting their own particualr views.

    Moderation in an online forum, if done properly and judiciously, doesn’t prevent free speech, it enables it. There are any number of commenters on this site whose political views I find to be…jurassic at best…however they generally conduct themselve civilly and base their comments on the ideas not the personalities or people. There is no just reason to remove them. And than there are others….

    Compared to some sites I’ve visited, the ‘banhammer’ on BC is rarely administered.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Cindy, like a fool I tried to find a way to intelligently enter the conversation (out of boredom) so I looked up a quote about Marxism (which appeared to be the subject).

    As usual it backfired on me.

    There was no other motive, and everyone’s imaginings are just baseless conjecture.

  • Cindy D

    Jet,

    Not like a fool in my book. But funny. You quoted a Nazi on Marxism. So, it’s hard to say baseless. How were we to know you were just bored? LOL.

  • bliffle

    A problem poster puts too much burden on the poor editors, who are, after all, unpaid volunteers. And they can’t afford to allow too much egregiously offensive prose to slip through for fear of reducing BC to a catfight that drives away any serious posters.

  • Cindy D

    Agreed bliffle. And let me add that I have a great deal of respect for the comments editors on blogcritics.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “serious posters.”

    Oxymoron police on Line 2 for you.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    That’s interesting, Cindy. Because I AM a minority, with a distinct point of view. But all she could do was use stereotypes, ugly ones at that against me. And lump me in with all the other Gringos in the US who destroyed her homeland when I am only a second generation American. But she wouldn’t let me speak and just made assumptions. THAT was what I found so horrible and insulting about her. And she hung on like a rabid dog. I happen to have an Native American sister -in-law who gives me a lot of wonderful knowledge without moon’s nastiness, craziness and ugliness, without namecalling and viciousness. You see I don’t think you need to do that to get a point across. I don’t know why you think you do. I went to a fabulous native american women’s writers conference organized by my sister in law, a well known poet. It was one of the best learning experience I have ever had. There was anger, sure,and pain, yes. But no one like crazy, scary, moon. And so poeple actually learned stuff and came away enlightened. And not completely put off.
    Moon chose me to pick a fight with. I never chose her. You are in the minority here with her. That’s okay but perhaps had you been on the end of her nonsensical attacks you might feel differently. Madness is an illness. She has it. It is sad but so be it.

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