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    • The Rise of the Guillotine
      There was a time when almost no one would have put forward anything like the below, today, guillotine references are routine. Today’s parents have forgotten that children’s play should teach them how to be responsible adults. pic.twitter.com/bGprm9rv09 — Will works for the working class (@ClassFirster) December 3, 2020 Back in the 2000s I spent a […]
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A Violation of Consensus Reality

…You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. There’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad….The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

— Morpheus, The Matrix

Consensus reality consists of a commonly agreed-upon overall worldview that a society or a group within a society holds. Every society builds up a shared view of reality, and these views can differ greatly across cultures or over time. For example, at the time the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence were written, the cultural consensus was that enslaving human beings with dark skin was perfectly acceptable, because Africans were not fully human. Those who questioned the institution of slavery or argued that African Americans were equal to Caucasian Americans and should therefore have equal opportunities were seen as dangerous radicals who must be controlled and ostracized. Slowly the abolitionists managed to shift the consensus of American culture, and today a person who suggested that slavery is natural and should be legal would be ignored or ostracized.

Most people have a hard time seeing through this shared view of “reality” that surrounds us every day of our lives. This consensus worldview is shaped by those in society who hold the most power and have the most to lose if people start to be aware of events and ideas that conflict with the preferred world view of the ruling classes. In the modern information age, the media has become an extremely powerful tool for shaping the way we see what is happening around us. Control of the U.S. media is now in the hands of a few powerful corporations and serves as the most influential enforcer of our culture’s consensus reality.

As young children we are all indoctrinated into the consensus reality of our particular culture; but since children have less experience in ignoring what they observe with their own senses, they sometimes call attention to contradictions in the consensus wordview. This is what happened in the famous Hans Christian Anderson story, “The King’s New Clothes.” A young boy was the only one to point out that the king had been the victim of a fraud and that he was, in fact, naked. The adults couldn’t see this truth. Their minds censored it, because they feared offending the king.

I’m sure we can all remember times when as children we pointed out something that our parents ignored because it simply didn’t fit their worldview. In 1957, when I was 8 years old, my parents took me and my sisters to a homecoming parade at Ohio University, where my father taught English. As we watched the floats and convertibles past by, full of smiling college students, I noticed something strange and disconcerting. There were groups of either males or females riding on floats and cars. What disturbed me was that some of the groups had white skin and others had black skin–there was never a mixture of both. I asked my parents why this was. Of course, now I know that these young people were members of fraternities and sororities–groups that remained racially segregated well into the 1960s. As a child, I instinctively knew this was wrong. But to my parents it was just the way things were. When I pointed it out, they reacted with embarassment and were unable to provide me a coherent explanation. As children, we all had the ability to be open to contradictions like this. And for some reason, some of us manage to grow into adulthood and still hold onto that ability to question the dominant worldview.

Groups of people within a society can form completely different consensus realities from the dominant culture. The tendency of these groups is to spread their worldview–to awaken other people to their particular way of seeing “reality.” Some of these groups strive to make their worldview the dominant one. This is the case with the right wing Christian groups who have been trying for years now to impose their consensus reality on the rest of us. So far they haven’t been successful.

I believe the Obama Campaign and those in the power structure who are backing him have deliberately set out to impose their worldview–their “reality”–on the rest of us. They have used powerful techniques drawn from Karl Rove’s successful design for Bush’s 2004 victory over Kerry. These techniques include attacking the opponent’s strongest assests with vicious smears, microtargeting small segments of the population with TV advertising, and influencing media through constant pressure and vast amounts of advertising money. In addition, Obama’s campaign has made use of numerous conversion techniques used by religious cults.

The plan was perfect. But they made one serious mistake. They forgot they were dealing with Democrats, not Republicans. They didn’t anticipate the PUMAs. As Murphy famously said, “we are the ones they didn’t expect.”

I was a regular at Daily Kos for four years. Back in November and December, 2007, I researched Obama’s record, and though I loved the idea of an African American President, I decided I just couldn’t support him. I wanted a candidate who supported the issues I cared most about. When the Obama Shift came at DK–when the hundreds of “conversion diaries” started ot appear, I was stunned. When I saw posters whom I had previously respected suddenly demonizing Hillary Clinton and directing shockingly sexist, misogynistic attacks against her and her supporters, I couldn’t believe it. I was not a Hillary supporter then, but I began to take a closer look at her because of the sexism I was seeing. Suddenly a majority of Kossacks idolized Obama and they were willing to visciously attack anyone who disagreed with them. If anyone posted a comment that even mildly criticized Obama, a swarm of enraged Obama supporters would attack like sharks in feeding frenzy. I really do think it was a deliberate strategy–an attempt to shame and ostracize anyone who didn’t get with the program. They thought they could enforce their worldview through fear, as the Republicans had done.

When all this happened, I was simply unable to go along with the crowd. Along with a minority of other Kossacks, I tried to point out what was happening to the frontpagers–I wanted to rescue my favorite blog from destruction. But no matter how hard I tried, my efforts had no effect. I believe what happened was a concerted effort to shift consensus reality in our party–to convert us. At times, I wondered if I were crazy, if there was something wonderful about Obama that I was somehow missing. In the end, I was simply unable to make myself see Obama in the way so many others did. I tried to fight what was happening for a couple of months, and then I left and found Riverdaughter’s blog. There weren’t too many here when I arrived. Katiebird was here, and Pat was here. Others I recall at that time were RonKSeattle, MABlue, Cognitive Dissonance, UpstateNY, DisenfranchisedVoter, and Ghost2. Gradually more and more people arrived seeking other dissidents. And on June 1, PUMA was born.

Why was I immune to the siren song of the “messiah?” Why didn’t I drink the koolaid? I think it’s because I’m a habitual nonconformist. I tend to resist when others try to enforce their worldview on me. I’ve never been afraid to speak out and question authority. I’m not going to surrender to a “movement” that just doesn’t *feel* right to me. I just couldn’t fall in line, and I’m never going to.

I have always felt like a bit of an outsider, and I have never quite lost that childlike innocence that allows me to notice contradictions in the consensus or “mainstream” view of reality. In fact, I have often enjoyed pricking the bubble of societal consensus by pointing out these contradictions to other people. This is not always a popular thing to do. Most people are more comfortable going along with the crowd.

No doubt living through the events of the 1960s and early ’70s helped me maintain my nonconformist view of the world and my ability to resist the consensus view of reality dictated by the media, major corporations, and the government.

During my formative and young adult years, there were several major movements and events that have served to greatly challenge consensus reality in this country. As a teenager, I was strongly influenced by the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Movement. I spoke out in favor of civil rights and women’s rights even though many of my Midwestern high school peers ridiculed and derided me for my views. There were also a number of dramatic individual events in the 1960s and 70s that led me and many other young people to challenge consensus reality, including the assassination of John F. Kennedy, followed a few years later by the murders of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, and then Watergate.

One experience that many of us shared in those days was experimenting with psychedelic drugs like marijuana LSD. These drugs challenged and altered our culture’s worldview by influencing musicians, artists, and political activists. LSD especially helped me see that reality is tenuous. I can remember so clearly the time I dropped acid at my cousin’s house and ended up watching the late night news on TV. It was surrealistic! Suddenly it was so clear to me that what I was seeing and hearing was transparent and laughable bullsh*t. Once again I saw the world from a childlike, innocent viewpoint. And I deliberately hung onto that openness. Since that night, I have instinctively distrusted the media, and when I sense bullsh*t, I tend to pull back and try to look at my surroundings with fresh eyes.

But even though many people did wake up in the 1960s and ’70s and there were real societal changes stemming from the events of that time, the power structure has still fought to keep Americans in a pre-1960s mindset, and they’ve mostly been successful by getting people to vote for Corporate tools like Reagan and the Bushes.

This year the Democrats have learned a few tricks from the Republicans. They have created their own charismatic front man: Barack Obama. They offered the Democratic base a “historic” candidate–a black man who would convince the liberal base that he would bring peace, prosperity, and an end to racism. But once he was elected, this “great leader” would do the bidding of the elite power structure that was backing him with millions of dollars in cash and free media. There was only one thing that could interfere with the plan: Hillary Clinton. They didn’t want another Clinton in the White House, and they certainly didn’t want a strong woman like Hillary in charge. They wanted someone they could control.

PUMA was formed in response to what I have come to believe is a true politico-religious cult. PUMA formed organically in response to the Obama “movement” and its followers’ attempts to impose their worldview on us. Who are we and why did we resist? Many of us are women, and the people who dominate our culture’s worldview are mostly men. Many of us are gay; and gays, like women, are not permitted to determine what the culture accepts as reality. As natural outsiders, women and gays may have some ability to stand outside the consensus reality and see its contradictions. But we are not all women or gays, and not all gays and women are PUMAs. What is it that makes us “different?”

I’ve tried to offer a few reasons for my ability to resist the Obama propaganda, despite overwhelming pressure from the Democratic Party and the corporate media. What made you resist? Have you always felt like an outsider or felt somehow different from other people? Have certain experiences led you challenge consensus reality? Do you recall the first time you realized you saw the world a little differently than other people? Please use the comments to share.

116 Responses

  1. oh, cool! this is the post I’ve been waiting for. Yes! I’ve always considered myself to be outside looking in. Partially because I was a navy brat and moved 14 times and never felt like I fit in. Partly because my mother was a fundagelical and kept me “away from the world”. And partly because, er, I’m a smartass? I only discovered the last thing in the last eight years. It turns out, much to my chagrin, that most people don’t think deeply about controversial issues. It’s too much trouble, But I like my internal monologues and I think about ethics and logic and rationality all fricking day long.
    I’m sure there is more to it. But that’s a start.

  2. Amazing post. Thanks.

    Yes, I have always felt like an outsider because I have always BEEN on the outside, looking in. I was put there by others. I now live there by choice.

    The first time I realized I saw things differently? One day when I was in the eighth grade I expressed to my parents the notion that God might not be best expressed or defined in anthropomorphic terms. My use of language was less refined back then, of course, than it is now of course, but I did my best.

    I’ll never forget how over the deep end they both went, screaming at me as if I’d just killed the family pet.

    I still don’t understand their anger.

  3. Riverdaughter,

    We moved around a lot when I was a kid too. I never thought about how that might have made me feel like an outsider.

    Your experience of dealing with a fundamentalist mom definitely would have exposed you to lots of cognitive dissonance. I feel the same way about my Catholic upbringing. I mean, asking a kid to decide what is a venial or mortal sin? Come on! And don’t get me started on the illogic of purgatory and limbo (I hear that one has been abolished).

    When I was about 10 years old, I started asking the priests and nuns why I couldn’t be an altar boy or grow up to be a priest. I just couldn’t make any sense of all those rules!

  4. Brad,

    My parents reacted the same way when I began questioning the existence of God at about age 12. I announced that I wouldn’t be going to church anymore, because I couldn’t rationalize why unbaptized babies would be sent to suffer in Limbo. My parents freaked out, and my mom said, “As long as you’re under our roof, you’ll go to church!”

    As soon as I could drive, I stopping going to Mass. Years later, my mom apologized to all of us for sending us to Catholic school. They don’t go to any church anymore.

  5. Oh, BB, that was wonderful. Thank you!

    I’ve noticed that both my husband and I, although we belong to different generations and are from different backgrounds, tend to resist conformity. We are both musicians, constantly searching for and trying to create truth and beauty in the world. Perhaps that explains it.

    PUMA is the first “movement” to which I’ve belonged, not having had the opportunity to join the Civil Rights or Womens’ Rights movement. I am so grateful I overcame my natural desire not to join anything and gave it my heart and soul. It has been more than worth it.

    I thank BB, KB, RD and everyone else at the Confluence for giving me a sanctuary where I can shut out the Matrix.

  6. I have always felt different. Yes, I experimented with drugs during the 70’s, but for me, it started at around 10 years old. My father was very abusive to my mother and I had some really strange experiences. I have heard the term “indigo” used to describe some of those experiences, but I won’t go into any more detail, for fear I will be labeled weird again.

  7. 6 months sitting meditation in a zen monastery.

  8. CCD class.

    The father, the son, and the “holy spirit.”

    say what? the “holy spirit?”

    But my mom says there’s no such thing as ghosts!

    I sat in Sunday school and mass every weekend as a kid, but the “holy trinity” stuff really agitated me and I couldn’t figure out why no-one else questioned it.

    Still can’t!

  9. Great post. What has amazed me about the fauxgressives is that while they readily recognize these things in a fundamentalist church, or in freeperland, they completely cannot see the exact same sort of consensus reality driven blindness in themselves.

    BTW, it is not ONLY regarding Obama. Those tendencies have been there in other ways, for years. But it has reached a frenzy with Obama.

    Often the people with the worst biases are those who are unable to even admit that it is possible for them to have biases ( or at least not in any meaningful way). That they are somehow (unlike the rest of the human race) immune to them. Consensus realities are not the sole purview of the ignorant and uneducated, not by a very long shot indeed.

    Like you, I have never been one for orthodoxies. It has given me a tendency to point out that even the devil has a point sometimes, which really pisses people off.

  10. bostonboomer – I relate to everything you said. I am an outsider with a child’s curiousity, a questioning intellect, and an abhorence for conformity.

    Confluence attracts people like us. People who don’t fall for cults.

  11. I LOVE BOSTONBOOMER’s psych posts!

    Wow – I’m the eldest & only girl in an immigrant Latino Roman Catholic family. I was the chambermaid, babysitter, homework tutor, cook, and target of pranks to my monstrous little brothers who were given more perks and cred because they were born with a thingy flopping between their legs. Both my mom and dad work 2 jobs for as long as I can remember. I was not allowed to play sports or participate in any school activities because “who would babysit the kids?” Oh, BTW, NO BABYSITTER in my town would take on the terribly rambunctious brother duo. So I was born into the job. I had an authoritarian cold emotionally bankrupt father and when I was 10, I told him to f__K himself and to stop beating up on my mom and on us.

    I also grew up in a small former textile town in Massachusetts known for its gritty environment. I never had a fight with a girl, they were too scared of me. I beat the crap out a couple of guys who tried to get fresh with me and gave me a reputation of a hard-azz. I’m also a Scorpio with Taurus rising.

  12. this is a very thought provoking post bb. I remember going to catholic school as a child and being taught that God loved everyone, but at the same time he punished those who sinned. When I realized I was gay (at a very young age…basically as far back as I can remember) I went through the most horrible time trying to reconcile the fact that God would have done that to me and THEN wanted to punish me on top of it. It just seemed like a sick joke. Fortunately I was smart enough to realize that the problem wasn’t me, it was what they were selling. by the time I was 12 I was done with the whole church thing and never looked back. It also prepared me to look at the world without the haze of the consensus reality.

  13. Yes, always an outsider. As an adult, I have learned most people do not have an interest in pursuing information. I keep the questions and deep thought to myself. I do get asked all sorts of odd questions because I often have the answers – I love research for the sake of research.

    I did not move around much as a kid but my dad was a serious alcoholic and my mother suffered from poorly managed depression. I took care of everyone. Between that and my constant research mode of thinking, I was pretty separate from other kids my age.

    I can’t say I was much of a drug user (tried some ) but most of my better friends were. They didn’t mind having discussions about how we know we are ‘real’ and not part of somebody else’s dream… or other such time wasting.

  14. bb said ““As long as you’re under our roof, you’ll go to church!””

    My parents were the same. forced me to go right up till I was 18, even forced me to get confirmed. funny how many catholics have the same story….

  15. All philosophers-and that’s what you are, bostonboomer-feel alienated from their culture.
    We have evidence that from the time humans developed self awareness and the capacity to commit thoughts to paper there have the dreamers-visionaries-who might as well have been dropped out of spaceships.
    Dreamers, mavericks(you should pardon the expression), rebels and artists see the world differently and they’re lonely.
    I think it’s interesting to read Karl Marx about manufactured consent. Noam Chomsky draws his work from Marx and it’s comforting to know that you are not alone and it’s the divine fire in you that makes you so discontented and, sometimes, disconnected.
    Wonderful post and you’re a terrific writer. Thanks for so much nourishing food for thought.
    Appropos of nada, I’m changing my nom de blog back to SweetSue. I adopted SweetieSue to amuse sm77 but it doesn’t feel right now.

  16. I was in foster homes during my teenage years .
    You get a whole different perspective on people and religion when you change homes and schools every year .
    You would be suprised at the number of hypocrites among so called religious people.
    Also there were more newspapers with different points of view and more information given to the public.
    Now most people get soundbites from so called journalists that should have gone to steno classses instead of journalism classes.
    The internet has a vast amount of imformation and ideas but not everyone has access or knowledge to use it.
    I am not sure how we can change things other than talking and listening to people.



  17. Oh and since it isn’t obvious in what I wrote, yes, I’ve always felt like an outsider to the point that I’ve watched myself go through the motions with other, “regular” people.

  18. I am the eldest of nine in a Catholic family. I had a first rate education by the Ursuline nuns and the Jesuits. I learned how to debate, question authority, and think for myself.

    My family life was (and is) fundamentally rich and glorious, in spite of many tragedies.

    I sense many soul mates here.

  19. Its the other way around for me I’ve never really felt different but I have been told that I am. Weird huh?

  20. Former SweetieSue NOW SweetSue, awwww!

    Big hugs to you!

  21. BB – thank you so much for this post. It amazes me daily how much we have in common beyond PUMA.

  22. I feel for all of you who have had emotional abuse in your backgrounds. But you are not victims, you have become stronger and more fabulous because of it!


    I think the real reason for my non-conformist attitude is my mom, who tragically died of cancer in 1996.

    Both my dad and brother are Obamabots who like to put things in little boxes. My mom was a free-thinker who liked to challenge everything about the status quo. She was a proud atheist, and her father was a screenwriting Communist who was blacklisted in the 50’s.

    I wish she were around today. I am sure she would be a proud PUMA. 🙂

  23. Helen

    One of the biggest turn offs for my husband in regards to religion is the hypocrisy. It’s positively sickening how some “Christians” gleefully tear down their brethren in the “name of God.” So much for that “judge not, lest ye be judged” stuff.

  24. Read The Dancing Wu-Li Masters– it’s zen physics and might just underscore the view that your reality is reality. btw, I’ve never been on the inside of anything. Does that make me an outsider?

  25. Hugs right back, sm77.
    Madamab, your mother sounds wonderful and if you think she would have been PUMA then she would have been. Obviously, you two had an even more special bond than mother and daughter. Kindred souls.
    Last night I went to Eschaton to lurk and read some comments. You would not believe what a cesspool it’s become. The most openly hostile, vile comments hurled at Palin and all sex/gender based. So sad.

  26. Wow, great post! Thanks.

  27. SweetSue – Ugh. We saw that coming, didn’t we?

    A lot of the folks I know from there have pretty much dumped it except to promote their own blogging. But so many just don’t see their own jaw-dropping misogyny and hypocrisy. It’s just very sad that Atrios has allowed this to happen, but I do think he feels the same way or he would moderate the comments.

  28. If I could just play devil’s advocate for a minute…

  29. here! here! immigrant, Clarkie (drafter), older mother of a young kid – always marching to my own band, out of sync with my generation in every way – not even a big fan of the Matrix – although I LOVE the premise which is based on Plato’s Cave

  30. Starting from a very young age I guess I have always been an outsider. When other kids were happiest playing hide and seek, I much preferred to read. I also developed a habit of being able to see both sides of an argument which has as many downsides at times as it does it upsides depending on where you are in life. To be “popular” you may have to swallow the common line of reasoning in order to remain within that circle; that was never me.

    Along the way I was taught what it meant by the”common good”. That we are all in this together and what we do for one benefits all. Determining what and how this is applied is a recurrent theme. In politics we should be asking and demanding the candidate spell out his/her vision of how this applies to their worldview before the first vote is cast. In my estimation, Obama was never able to achieve the answer in a satisfactory way. Hillary Clinton responded and her vision the “common good” became a destination.

    An outsider is often the voice of the skeptic. The “show me” attitude that is strikingly lacking in the voices of those who willingly climb onboard the “next best thing express”. We may be the nags, the scolds, the worriers of the world but we want at least to be allowed a peek under the covers before we arrive at the same conclusion.

    Having been raised a Catholic, my skepticism and outsider status forced me to realize that most of the lives we lead are based on fear. Fear of death, fear of hell, fear of one another. Just not a healthy way to live. I want my fears to be as real as leaving an empty pot on a burning stove to choosing who is able to act on behalf of the “common good”. Ignoring either act can only lead to disaster if not addressed.

    So place me in the column of the born again skeptic who secretly harbors a much longed for return to those ideals. As someone much more learned than I once said, we are all in this together.

  31. I am a Christian and attend church – but it is a ‘reconciling in Christ’ congregation and I attend with openly gay members in additions to people of all stripes and persuasions. As an added benefit, our kids see that love and acceptance should be shared with ALL people. That is the only way I would ever be comfortable in a church setting.

    The finger pointing, dressing up, pretending to be perfect, and life controlling environment of many churches is a BIG turn-off. I think obama supporters have this fakey churchy thing going on. I really can’t figure it out!

  32. Oy, Eschaton! This has been a year of rejections for me. I had to abandon Eschaton (my comfy old arm chair) once the Hillary Bashing started. I got fired from my job last month in a really personal, innappropriate way (by a frat boy type sales manager and a Nancy Pelosi type.) The Democratic Party, to which I’ve been loyal all my life, told me I was not welcome.

    Thank goodness for the confluence. I have found my home, and my sanity.

    OK. Lunch break over. Back to the job search.

    (Well, it is the year of the rat on the chinese calendar.)


  34. bb: You need to do a weekly column entitled along the lines:
    “What Are You Thinking”? Your essay of today was masterful!

  35. Yes, I’ve always felt like an outsider! Like Riverdaughter, we moved a lot — I went to 11 different schools before I graduated from high school. My dad was a tunnel stiff (some of the toughest guys in the world) who worked underground and risked his life every day of the week to put food on the table. My mother worked in the canneries and turkey processing plants. Neither had an education — my mom only made it through the 7th grade and my dad , the 4th grade. He could barely read and write.

    I can’t tell you how much ridicule I endured because we lived on the wrong side of town, my clothes were often homemade or secondhand, and my parents didn’t speak Standard English. After a while, I stopped trying to make friends because we probably were just going to move away from them anyway. I spent my time with my books, my dogs, and my own thoughts. And I learned to think for myself. In the end, I am stronger for the experience and am proud of the fact that whatever success my husband and I have had was self-made.

  36. Interestingly enough, “The Matrix” is my favorite movie precisely because it delves into the “illusion” that society has been relegated into living when they no longer have the desire to “think for themselves”. Those of us who have not given up the freedom and awareness that comes from thinking for ourselves, are the one’s who related to the character “Neo” in the movie “The Matrix”. By choosing to take the “red pill”, we are willing to risk not “going along” and challenge the illusion and find the truth.

    I think what has helped me remain on the outside looking in was borne from “intuition” first. That intuition began to come alive during the 2000 election and has been growing ever since. After I first saw The Matrix, it made me realize the power of my intution and to trust it and to always question the illustion in confirming whatever we are being sold by our government, the MSM, the pundits is actually “real” or whether it’s “memorex.”

    The moment they began to ram obama down our throats almost identically to the way GWB had been, via the same marketing strategy, by feeding the people what they “wanted to hear” in order to blind them from seeing what’s right in front of them. You remember GWB was the new kind of republican, a “compasionnate conservative” because they knew this is what people wanted to hear. Now, they come up with the flip side of GWB, by selling obama as “the hope and change” candidate. In the end, we’ve discovered that both OBAMA AND GWB ARE FRAUDS.

    For decades the media has been incrementally developing techniques in advertising and marketing products for the purpose of manipulating people to accept what they are being told, rendering them unable to recognize when they are being “bamboozled”. By suspending the ability of a person to think, they are able to control the masses.

    Based on the blatant, in your face, tactics used by the obama camp, combined with a wiling and compliant MSM, it’s clear to me that they are desperate for thieir agenda to be realized now because they recognize that the American people are waking up to the “illusion” and replacing it with “reality” thinking — i.e., PUMA.

    PUMA is the red pill.

  37. Wonderful post bb, thank you. I too am an outsider. I have always been uncomfortable and looked closely when others try to tell me how to think.

    I turning 17 in 1972. I had lived my young teen years in the 60s. When I got to college at 17 I was excited to be in the midst of all the forward thinkers and feminists. It didn’t take me long to realize that ‘free love ‘ was bullshit and just a way for men to con women into bed. My friends didn’t understand. Even ‘progressives’ are not always what they represent.

  38. Pat,

    Look who’s talking! You are a brilliant writer. I live for your comments and wish you would turn them into posts.

  39. Oh, a caller to C-Span after Palin’s speech said people should stop attacking Obama because “he is full of the light”

  40. Ok, I think boomer wrote about this, but is it true if you left uncommitted uncommitted. Restored full voting rights to FL/MI. Hillary was only behind by 17 fricken delegate votes?

  41. I love what Kathleen Wynne said with relation to “intuition”. I am not sure if we are born with that ability or if it is learned, but it serves as another aid in separating the wheat from the chafe.

  42. When I am backed into a corner, as the current DNC is trying to force
    me into, I find that I always blast out! I haven’t switched on the dotted
    line to “Decline to State” because I’m told I need to be part of a movement
    to get Hillary supporters in my district at the State level (heck, I may even
    present myself as a candidate). But I have always liked the maverick aspect
    of McCain. That fits my values and personality. To many sheep are goo-goo over
    Bama with no awareness of what he represents (the Chicago machine IMO).

    Talking public financing is an absolute necessity to wrest
    control from corporations (“We have the best government money can
    buy” as Gore Vidal said).

    The Republicans have a star in Sarah. Too bad the Dem. ” leadership”
    was so hell bent on wiping out the Clintons that it didn’t insist on a
    Clinton/Obama ticket, which would have ensured the presidency for 16 years.

    Blacks have always voted en masse with the Democratic Party. There
    are blacks rising through the ranks, but since I can’t really enumerate
    any accomplishments of BO that weren’t thrown his way, I’m not sure
    why the Dems watered down the requirements for the highest office of the land. Women are the larger constituency, but we are supposed to be
    backed in a corner and held hostage.

    The fools who installed BO may not know what hit them.

  43. Your comments are all so wonderful. I do think that people who have been abused in childhood learn early on to see through hypocisy. I had a violent upbringing too. I have asked myself these questions ever since the “Obama Shift” happened. How could people suddening change into the thing they had be critiquing in fabulous diaries for 4 or 5 years?

    How could someone like Meteor Blades, who was a freedom rider and who supposedly cares for the environment, turn into an Obamabot? In his case, it was a slow process, and so sad, because I think he *let himself* succumb so he wouldn’t lose his status at DK. How sad that is!

    I love hearing about everyone’s history. And I’m so glad we all found The Confluence!

  44. We too moved several times and as a shy kid, I never could figure out how to make friends – something that continues today, even though I’m not as shy as I used to be.

    Due to the parents divorce, I’ve been self-supporting since I was 14 (a little over 30 yrs now) and as such, had to make decisions on my own. I’ve always mistrusted people, the media, our “leaders”, etc. Not an easy position to be in when trying to make enough money to pay the bills.

    I can’t say I went to Catholic school, but I always liked the pomp and ceremony involved with attending mass – kind of like cheap entertainment and amazing since Protestant churches don’t do that. Since I couldn’t figure out what to do with my life, I went to community college for a while – until I had to drop out to work full-time. Of course I still don’t know what I want to do with my life but I try to take each day for what it brings.

    It’s always nice to read what everyone here has to say and I truly appreciate how articulate and well-thought out everyone’s posts and comments are, and especially how they inspire one to think about our lives.

    Keep up the great work! 🙂

  45. Masslib,

    Do you read Cannonfire? Take a look at this:


    No wonder they stopped the roll call vote and won’t release the tallies. Hillary could have won!

  46. BB — WOW. You’ve gone a long way toward clarifying what makes The Confluence the site it is. Why as Hillary’s campaign withered we grew. Why as Obama cried for Unity we continued to grow.

    Why even after the formal nomination of Obama The Confluence hasn’t taken the easy route and endorsed McCain/Palin.

    We aren’t in this just for the politics. We’re in this for our shared world view. And people like us can’t be pigeonholed that easily.

    Thank you so much for this post. This and your post, What is Wrong with Barack Obama? are two of the most important pieces published by this site.

    (I mean no disrespect to any of the other authors or posts)

  47. Yes, great post.

    I always wondered about those people we saw on TV after a natural disaster who say, “God spared me.” I always wondered why God would save them and not their neighbors. And nobody ever questioned that.

    I also started seeing the alternate reality being constructed in front of our very eyes when Reagan ran for president. All of a sudden, the so-called liberal media’s magnetic poles switched. It was amazing to me, yet nobody seemed to question it.

  48. This was a wonderful post bostonboomer! Like many of you I am a product of catholic schooling and an upbringing that included alcoholism among other things. Throughout my life I have felt most times outside looking in.

    What brought me to this place started a few years back, right before the 04 election. I had always been a loyal dem. I felt that at the time I wasn’t getting the whole story from the msm on the bush cabal and turned to blogs for info.

    Many, many times I found what I was seeking. I also
    learned many things I didn’t even realize I wanted to know(if that makes any sense).

    Anyhoo, one of those places I lurked daily was dk. There I was so impressed with the work of so many, william f harrison comes to mind immediately. Allegre’s diaries too and just the sense that someone was trying to do something. It gave me hope.

    I am just a mom of three from Oh. with a pretty normal job and a wonderful husband who is a laborer. I can’t match any of you guys on smarts but I have a pretty good bulls**t meter. When I saw how all the places I used to go started devolving and supressing desent in favor of BO, I too wondered WTF am I missing here?

    I have always admired Hill (and Big Dawg) and was disgusted at her treatment, the places to find like-minded folks kept shrinking and shrinking.

    All of you at the confluence have my utmost respect and gratitude for again trying to do something. Something good, and for what is only fair and just.

    Can’t ask for anything better than that, Thank You All.

  49. Kathleen Wynne,

    I love your comment! You are brilliant.

  50. I want the DNC to feel the full onslaught of a PUMA inspired torpedo. I want them to come to appreciate that this armed robbery will never happen again. I want each and every person who conspired to bring this about lives in infamy. I want revenge on a handful of thugs who used whatever power and means at their disposal to feel the overwhelming brunt of justice. I want those who willingly obliged them to suffer the slings and arrows by losing their congressional seats as they were the ones who aided and abetted.

    I will never forgive them for this crime and for bringing about another 4 years of Republican rule when the choice was clear and present. They created this outrage and need to be held accountable in November along with their hand picked candidate. Steal my vote at your peril.

  51. Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  52. nene,

    You’re so right about the shift that took place with Reagan. I would like to write more about that someday. It was shocking to me at the time, because back in the ’60s, my friends and I used to joke about the idea of Reagan becoming Governor. The idea of him being President was beyond the pale. Reagan actually had far more substance and achievements than Obama, be he too was backed by big money men who wanted to change the face of America. And they did. We haven’t recovered from it, despite Bill Clinton’s efforts. And now they are using a “Democrat” as a front man.

  53. Katiebird,

    Thank you so much. I’m really overwhelmed by your words.

  54. bostonboomer,

    Thank you. I consider all who question authority “brilliant”!

    May I add that your post sent me back to where I started to break out of my shell and notice what was really going on around me.

    Thank you for reminding me how we all got to this place called PUMA!

  55. {{{bostonboomer}}} I meant every word. Thank you.

  56. BostonBoomer, I do believe you summed up the entire experience of the human condition.

    I don’t know how presumptious it sounds, but I FIRMLY believe people who frequent the Confluence, as well as other pro-Hillary blogs can see past the crap, and understand the danger of obama voting for retro-FISA immunity, etc.

    The dems are no better than the republicans in their grab for power, and I am SO thankful that even though they might consider me an outsider now, that I am RIGHT.

    And I stand with y’all in our lucidity.


    On a side note…wow!! I remember when it took several hours for 56 comments to be threaded.

    I’m proud of RD’s space on the net.

  57. soup city,

    If you’re here, you aren’t ordinary. We are voices in the wilderness, although we are being heard more frequently than we were a few months ago. But we have hit a nerve, that’s for sure.

  58. It’s amazing to watch your progression through this incredible process that has led many of us to feel alienated from our own party as it could have been me writing that post above, only I was a Huffyposter and tend to be pretty progressive in my views as well. It’s not the issues and policies I have a problem with. That is not the issue for me. It’s the subversion of the process past the people and rovian tactics used to do it which is what I am standing against. How is this any different than what happened in 2000 and in the run up to and launching of an unjust, dishonest war, all justified by the same type of ideologues and the moral superiority of their movement. The means to the greater good lent credence to a whatever necessary means to get there, even if it meant subverting the democratic process and the people of this party, and in my estimation, the most dangerous threat to the principles of this country, no matter what side it is on. Has no one learned the real lesson of 2004 when we as a country had the biggest snow job in history pulled over us by a well orchestrated establishment that projected a false narrative? And it is the ignorance of the American people that allows these clever manipulators to create a false sense of reality. I will always remain intellectually honest. I believe that is our responsibility to our Country to keep it on the right track. I call them like I see them, even when it is with my own ilk. I stood up against the Neocon agenda and the war from the beginning even when I was being bullied and ridiculed for being ignorant and unAmerican, and withstood actual disdain from others. I will now stand up especially against the hijacking of the principles of the party I have supported all my life. I will not endorse a movement based on righteous moral superiority and dishonesty even when I agree with a lot of the agenda no more than I would Bush/Neocon agenda. They are all a threat to Democracy and especially this is a crucial moment in what the party of principle that I believed in all these years plans to be going forward. In my estimation, if we are to reign in this misguided philosophy overtaking the Democratic Party, we must take a stand to it. We must be willing to lose a battle to win the greater war. It’s really sad that what many have learned from the disgusting abuse of our democratic process over these last 8 years by righteous ideologic thugs was to become just like them. I will not capitulate to this road for my party.

  59. My last post was incoherent…heh.

    Here’s a quote from Mark Twain to sum up what I was saying:

    “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

  60. destardi,

    It wasn’t incoherent to me, but thanks for the great Mark Twain quote. If there ever was a nonconformist, it was Twain.

  61. Thanks bostonboomer that means alot. Many more nerves to be hit upon, that’s for sure.

  62. Let me respectfully remind you
    Life and Death are of supreme importance
    Time swiftly passes by
    And opportunity is lost
    Each of us should strive to awaken
    Take heed
    Do not squander your life

  63. This is very interesting! At my age, and I think bostonboomers, this moving issue has resonance, because it was less common then and more isolating. You get used to the idea that you are the only one. Yes, I moved every two years or so. You learn a certain way to find yourself in each new place. For me it involved a lot of cheerful feminine energy; for my brother a new fight. A well placed layer of the right clothes, quickly learning vernacular and a good ear, and diving into the local project. You probably be there only a short time. Deep attachments don’t form, although I think that my be somewhat different for the military “brats” who might see their friends again. As an adult, then, what was missed and poorly understood was long term attachments, and it was also wanted. You are never really part of a place, although you may be from there.

    The permanent relationship that I picked appeared to come from a family that was real, in that they had real discussion, arguing, and actual hugging- something I had to learn. That they were an alcoholic family, I didn’t have the skills to see. So that became a new journey. But I bring it up because I think there are consequential associations with being an outsider, and relationships to the above comments.

    So I want to turn this around for a minute; How aware then we must all be of the nuances of Obama’s upbringing. When the press talks about his mother as anthropologist, about his moves, I feel I understand it on a different level then others. I see clearly his anthropological (what he learned as coping skills) methods. I understand his appearance of care, juxtaposed with his drive. Each new place requires a slightly different response, and he is very good at it. The core, if one develops, is more difficult to expose, because there is a long learned politeness that prohibits it. The politeness is actually a lie to prevent pain to yourself and those around you. The struggle is to become the well worn stuffed rabbit-real. That’s why I think he went the other way. Politics aside, Chicago was a search for long term relationships, a family. Michelle may an anchor, but I think the damage was done.

  64. I was the middle child of a “yours, mine, and ours” family. My mother met and married my stepfather when I was 5. I suddenly had an older brother and about 6 months later, a younger sister. We lived with my grandmother. We moved to our new house but I wanted to stay with my grandmother, who always showered me with love and affection and attention. My mother was more than willing to let me go to my grandmother’s at every opportunity since she was taking care of a newborn and getting to know her step son. My grandmother took me to church. When I wasn’t with my grandmother, or at church, I was reading and I neither completely engaged with my family, nor established close bonds with my siblings. I am happy to say that this has improved as I matured, but I think I was a pretty petulant, pissed off kid. We had no money but I never wanted for anything and my parents encouraged me to excel at school, fed my book habit, and insisted that I attend the best college I could. I remained aloof, however, and even managed to hide a very serious eating disorder for nearly 14 months, mostly, I believed, b/c my mother couldn’t be bothered to notice that I was starving myself. I think my detachment from what should have been the core of my young existence (my family), helped me to see things in a different way. To this day, I’m not overtly social and I tend to have a few very close friends, probably to create the close-knit environment I missed out on growing up. I am not afraid to admit, also, that I continue to try to nurture my relationship with God and I have never rejected that aspect of my upbringing–I realize that’s not so popular here. I’m fiercely independent and wil not be force fed anything. So, that’s how I arrived here.

  65. I know this is not about this poster
    but I’m listening to Howard Dean and he is following up on Harry Reid’s comments. Reid called her shrill and Dean is called her mean!
    It just goes after what Candy Crowley said yesterday that she didnt think that women beating up on men on tv would go well with the public. so now the democrats are going with that attack calling her mean and shrill!

    I dont agree with a lot of Palins positions but maybe what we need is really a tough working mother as a VP

  66. 1950’s and 60’s geek girl here. Mom wanted the prom queen and got the class valedictorian. More interested in taking the sewing machine apart to see how it worked than in learning how to sew. Kicked out of Sunday School at 12 for suggesting that inbreeding between Noah and his family might explain how human beings got to be so stupid. Still has bump on head from crashing through glass ceilings.

  67. gary: On the previous thread I allowed my “Mom, the protector” hat to come into play. You received many well thought out and reasoned approaches to what was done to you. In retrospect I treated the situation like an overbearing Mom by attempting to pull you away from harm. You will do what you need to do because you are a bright and talented human being. I just am so intolerant of injustice that my first approach is to flee to safety.

    You will triumph in the end on your own judgment.

  68. samanthasmom: lol

  69. thank you pat.

  70. My friend who was a Poli-Sci major just called me. She is freaking out. She realizes that McCain/Pallin are going to win now.

    She was a HUGE Hillary fan and she did not want to vote for Obama, but I think she thought he’d take the White House anyway. I told her I’ve known since February that he was post-electable. I told her that the next four years are going to suck no matter what, and that I think we’re just going to have to keep our heads down and try to get through it so that Hillary can come back in 2012.

    She’s taken the red pill, and there’s no going back.

  71. I’ve always been on the outside looking in. I guess I’ve always wanted the popular people to be taken down a notch. Even though life has treated me well, and I’ve been blessed in so many ways I am repulsed by bullying behavior. Now that Sarah Palin has expressed what was needed to be said I feel like a burden has been lifted off of me or us. Now that someone has finally spoken the truth I can sit back and reassess the situation. I’m in Ohio. Ohio will decide the fate of the world. It’s an awesome responsibility. There are thoughtful discussions happening around here and some not so enlightened. But I need to decide what is important to me. Do I vote out of bitterness or out of what is best for the country? They both might be the same thing. But now I’m focused on what is the best ticket for the country and not whether I like Michelle or not. If the vote in Ohio is as close as it was in Florida….wow…awesome responsiblity. BTW: top 5 media markets for campaign ads in the country: Cleveland, Columbus, Philly, Pittsburgh, Youngstown.

  72. ben – I don’t envy you. My state is going Obama, I’m sure, so I am free to vote for TWO v*gin*s (McKinney/ Clemente)!!!

  73. OT, but if you have a candle, light it tonight for mawm and me. we live in the raleigh area, but our home (and mawm’s mom) are on the coast. Looks like hanna is headed straight for it…..

  74. Gary and Mawm – I don’t do the candle thing, but I will send you good vibes, and hope you get in the PUMA Mobile and get out if you have to! (taking Mawm’s Mom with you of course!)

  75. Oh Gary, I am so sorry about all you are having to deal with today. I will light a candle right now 😉

    You and Mawm are in my thoughts – big vitual hugs your way too!


  76. Soupcity @ 12:55p
    Please never say just a mom or just a housewife.
    That drives me crazy.
    They are some of the most important jobs in the world.
    Being smart does not mean just book smart. Street smart is as important.
    Some of the smartest people I have ever met did not finish school.
    One of the dreams I had for my son was to go to college in the winter and sail a freighter around the world in the summer. To see the good ,bad and ugly in the world and be smart and tough enough to deal with it.
    He did not do that but he is still one smart cookie.



  77. I can attest that Pittsburgh is a top market for campaign ads. It’s horrible. Both candidates piss me off. I’m not watching TV anymore, I’ve retreated to YouTube for my viewing pleasure when I’m not here.

    This is the first time in the last 28 years that I’ve had to endure this. How do people do it every 2-4 years without their heads exploding?

  78. lisadawn82 – I don’t know. Hang in there!

    No one ever tries to get my vote. I’m in Blue New York…which this year, might just be more purple than ever.

    I think Sarah Palin appealed to a lot of Upstate New Yorkers last night.

  79. “I told her that the next four years are going to suck no matter what, and that I think we’re just going to have to keep our heads down and try to get through it so that Hillary can come back in 2012.”

    I think that pretty well nails it. Bush and the “thugs” have so screwed up the economy and everything else, that it will have to run it’s course. Things will hit bottom in 2-3 years and whoever is in office after 01/20/09 will get blamed. #44 is one term no matter who it is.

  80. it’s amazing — another me too here! I moved around many times as a kid, I was always an outsider (being mixed race) and always questioned authority. Always shy and slow to trust. And I always react very negatively to unfairness.

    I’m curious if the PUMA’s share similar Myers-Briggs profiles also. I’m an INTP.

  81. bostonboomer, this is a very thought-provoking piece.

    Pat J, please don’t ever STFU! You should be a poster here in your own right.

    Like Pat, as a I child I preferred reading. I grew up in a very wealthy, privileged town, but my family was neither. With a mom from West Virginia and a dad from a milltown in Mass., my background was quite different from that of my classmates. My closest friends tended to be kids from other countries. Never a part of any clique, through grade school and college, I still resist assimilation into the suburban moms’ clique.

    I have spent some time living abroad, my husband is not a U.S. Citizen, and I have many non-American friends and acquaintances. Staying for an extended period of time in another country has “violated my consensus reality” in that many perceptions that I had held about Americans and other nationalities were challenged.

    I also have spent a lot of time studying the literature and culture of the former Soviet Union, where great efforts were made to impose consensus reality (though I had never before heard the term). I was always drawn more to the “dissident” writers, never suspecting that one day I might be part of a dissident group, myself.

    Glad to have found my way here.

  82. Jules–I lived in London for three years and if most definitely affected my perception. First, in trying to defend the US constantly and instinctually, and then mellowing out and listening to the criticsm.

  83. smantha’smom: “Kicked out of Sunday School at 12 for suggesting that inbreeding between Noah and his family might explain how human beings got to be so stupid.”

    LOL! And I thought I was a rebel for asking why women couldn’t be priests.

  84. Micki — at first I felt defensive, too: No, we don’t only eat hamburgers and drink coke, etc. But the listening and the re-evaluating followed.

  85. I know it helen, :).
    I guess what I meant was I am trying to absorb all I can from these wonderful people I have found across these “internets”. You don’t have to be a scholar or an attorney or a “community organizer” to be informed or involved, it is so easy now, if one is willing.

    That’s the beauty of PUMA, there is a cross section of so many kinds of people.

    Good luck to all of you in the storms path, best wishes sent your way.

  86. Motherlode from No More Apples has a post on what she thinks of Sarah Palin: http://nomoreapples.blogspot.com/2008/09/give-her-her-due.html

  87. Gary and Mawm,

    Be careful. I hope Hannah loses power before she hits the Carolinas.

    And you be careful too, Kim!

  88. DemocraticUnderground.com has succumbed to the same tulipmania as DKos. I cannot believe the vile filth I see posted there. Just now I read,

    “If Sarah Palin Were A Prostitute, Would She Name Her Kids…


    I grieve because I go all the way back to the beginning, January 2001, with them.

  89. I was stunned this morning to read the following from Charlie Cook. It’s nothing less than an admission that this election is going to be decided by the media.

    “The jury is, and will remain, out on McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. It’s either brilliant or insane. There isn’t much room in between. A narrative storyline is going to develop in the media. It will be either that she is the fascinating, offbeat, not-off-the-rack maverick female governor from a very curious place that reinforces McCain’s change-and-reform message and resonates with suburban mothers with children at home; or that her selection was a half-baked, cynical move by McCain that, while “outside the box,” probably should have been left in the box and never opened.”

    Emphasize: “A narrative storyline is going to develop in the media.” They’re telling us they will decide for us.


  90. Creeper – what else would you expect from Charlie Cook? That’s what he wants to believe. It validates his job and his own political bias.

    I have a different perspective on the narrative. I think Sarah Palin has already won that battle.

  91. Wow, the voices and life experiences of the people on this blog are amazing! In another walk of life we may never had met or shared a cup of coffee together but here, through the beauty of words and the intimacy of communication, each and every one of you have come to reside in my head. I can almost picture each of you separately as individual entities, stand alone stories describing a work in progress.

    As for me, should you be doing the same, I am a slightly older version of Cindy Crawford! I can say this without fear of contradiction.

  92. In our household we worship Hermey the misfit Elf and Rudolph. Our favorite vacation spot is the island of misfit toys.

    BB, I love you (not trying to stalk you).

  93. I am wondering how each you Hillary supporters will feel if she comes out strong against Palin and for BO?

    I know all the arguments that support Hillary’s inability to do what she wanted to do because her hands were tied by the party and her future interest in the party. Part of me though, will always regret that she didn’t stand up and represent even at risk of her own career.

    She knows Obama is not good for this country. If she could have fought the battle without regard to her position within the party, respect for her would be sky high. I will never really know all of the moves that led to her decision to let herself be used and abused but hopefully some time between now and 2012 she will get a chance to explain.

    If she comes out to fight against Palin though, it could be the deal breaker for me.

    That said, I still believe that Hillary would have made a fantastic president and I don’t believe Palin is a match for her at all.

  94. Pat, I love you too….kbird, where are you…..big hug?

  95. 48, Hillary will do what any “good” D is expected to do. Palin is bad news for the D party…she needs to be obliterated.

  96. The Matrix……The KIng is wearing, no clothes…..The empty suit…….The one finger scrachy face……and in spite of all these …triggers….the media keeps telling us …….It’s OK……..It’s OK. your not being screwed. Believe…..believe…………..NO, WE WON’T.

  97. 48: I think that Hillary was also taking advice from the one person in the world who could sway her in either direction: Bill Clinton. If we are to believe what we have read about the out and out gaming of this primary in favor of Obama, the defection of people who otherwise had been considered friends, a particular cabal working within the DNC who were hellbent on her demise, then his advice must have been sought.

    Both parties are in total agreement that Bill Clinton is one of the most, if not the most, political animal this country has seen in the last 100 years. He must have had solid input into what he considered her best course of action. Bill is very angry but he is not stupid. If there is to be a legacy to protect, or another campaign in the future, I would guess that Bill Clinton held the key to her decision making. My best guess that in the end, even had there been a mighty pull and tug involved between them, his advice won out in the end. This is a man who lives, breathes and eats politics for breakfast.

  98. It’s the media……it’s the media…..it’s the media. and they know it. Watch them, try and turn it around, if Obama loses, BIG.

  99. If Hillary continues to promote Obama then she should just stick to the contrast between himself and McCain. To take on Sarah would be detrimental to her as it would telegraph to us, her diehard supporters, that she can easily overlook the harm done to her by the mysogynistic morons in the MSM and her own party. This too would be my dealbreaker as we came to loathe this very mistreatment.

    However, I would be very much surprised if she did this. I don’t believe it is within her character to do so.

  100. I started out as a loner. As a small child I had an imaginary friend (or two). I went to Catholic School. too, and at one phase expected to be a priest when I grew up (Had Mass every morning at my little altar). Don’t go to church anymore, now that The Church tells me I am not equal to the men in their world.(and tells me that I must have all of the children God sends me ).
    At a young age we spent some time in the South and I could never figure out why Blacks had to go to the back door , why the drinking fountains were labeled for Blacks and for Whites, or why Blacks had to sit in the back of the bus. I even opted to sit in the very back on one bus trip. Now I am a racist for supporting HRC.
    When I did graduate work, I was several times the only woman in the class. That was an eye-opener for my little idealistic girly-self! But I persisted and in trying to get male dominated type jobs ,received the usual BoysClub putdowns.
    I was born at the beginning of the Great Depression, and went to college long before there were federal loans. I was in the work force before women had any chance to rise through the glass ceiling. When I was in grad school I was called “contentious” for fighting for my rights and was subtly reminded that my file could accidentally fall behind the file cabinet.
    I am so turned off by this horrible mess that the Dems have made, and I am so sad that Palin will make it to the White House and not Hillary. Hill has the goods to make a great President and she’s been trashed. That this sexist baloney persists just kills me.

  101. Hiya Pat, great to see you.

  102. Tea break. I can’t get any appointments! Still I persist, until 4:00PM.

    Biden will resign within a week due to health reasons.

    See you later.

    Please send prayers, good vibes, etc. to help me with my job search.

  103. I find it interesting that Hillary has only made one short comment so far. I would kill me to see her attack Sarah.

  104. 48, H will attack P if necessary. I doubt it will be on character or experience, but on policies.

  105. I recognized as a child that I could understand “all” people from their own points of view. Even when I was a 4 year old, people seemed to trust me and open up to me. I felt warmly toward them all, though sometimes the things that I heard troubled me and worried me.

    I was raised in a family where my grandparents were an Eastern Orthodox priest and his kind, brilliant, helping “priest’s wife”, who cared about the many people of their church struggling after being misplaced by WWII. My father was a doctor who cared about the lives of his many (American) patient families, and they treasured him. I had great role models of people who cared about the welfare of the communities they were living in and felt responsible for.

    I found as I got older that my experience of looking into the eyes of many people and hearing what was in their hearts, made me very aware when people were not “looking into my eyes” and were not “telling me what they had in their hearts”. Apparently, I seemed like a push-over to these insincere people/kids/assholes/boyfriends, because they were either stunned or enraged when I saw through them, or let them “know” that I was annoyed with their behavior.

    I saw exactly who Obama was during his last debate with Hillary. I saw clearly his sexism, his misogyny, his arrogance and the fact that he was illogically confidant of already being the 44th President. I knew that he was either psychotic or that someone was guaranteeing to him that he was going to win over Hillary, and I wasn’t sure if beyond.

    After that I was devoted to finding out which was the truth—Obama’s psychosis or someone else’s corruption and conniving … and why?

    I knew that Hillary’s Presidency was in big trouble, and consequently the USA’s well-being was in big trouble too, and I was devoted to helping Hillary, and consequently the USA.

    That’s how I “accidentally” landed at this site a few days after PUMA was launched right here. I think I read this URL in a comment on the Hillary site on the evening of the RNC fiasco.

    I don’t believe in “accidents” BTW. Every re-action had an action, somewhere, sometime, that got it started.

    That’s why I think that it is so very important to watch every “action” I create, because I want the reaction to which it flows to continue the flow to my ultimate goal. Peace, freedom, beauty and love. For everyone.

    Not Armegeddon. Or whatever.

  106. If the Obama campaign makes Hillary attack Palin it will just show that it should be Hillary on the ticket. What a useless puppet candidate O is.

  107. Prediction with low probality:

    Tonight Biden will resign from the ticket for health/personal reasons.

    My timing is usually a bit off with these things.

    Going back to pound the phones.

  108. PS – Obama will NOT pick Clinton. Oprah maybe.

  109. Why is my comment at 2:44 awaiting moderation?

    I don’t wish any prediction to come true that involves weakening the chances that BO will be defeated. Keep it Imbiben as VP. If it were Hillary as VP, I’d still have to vote for McCain.

  110. BB, great post – Reaganomics got us where we are today – they had to switch to the Dems because Cheney et.al. screwed things up so badly that they thought no one would vote for the Repubs – but they got fooled because they screwed themselves by not looking ahead – and as I said in another thread – the won the battle but will lose the war.

  111. so….the conluence is here to bring all of us outsiders together to create something new.

  112. Deja Vu for moi….I remember one of my earliest reactions to Obamamania was that the Bots saw him as Neo while I was seeing him as just the newest face of the Matrix! Never stopped to worry about whether I should believe what I was told or believe my own lying eyes. Got over that decades ago, learning to trust my own reality after much therapy for a “schizoid personality” diagnosis. Not a whole lot of sympathy for Obama or anyone else who has not been willing to question their own worldview and deal with their inner demons.

    Re: The media. Check Jonathon Alter’s latest post basically saying it is the media’s job to expose Palin’s deficiencies because she would be kept away from in depth interviews.. Then the Rush-wannabe ED Schultz evidently got the same DNC talking point…actually saying he wished Tim Russert was still alive to have Palin on Meet the Press . Sorry ed, your ignorance is showing again…Timmeh was always in the tank for Repubs…for Dems

  113. BB: Just got home to read the threads. About that God thing, my Brooke told me she was an atheist when she was nine. She was perfectly logical about it. Then she asked for a cookie. Freaked me out a bit but she’s also always been a bit of a non-conformist. That’s what I love about her and what the school system is trying so hard to squelch. She sees the world as it is without the cultural filter The only bad thing about it is that she’s going to be lonely. We’re out here and we’re sociable but there aren’t that many of us and identifying ourselves can sometimes be dangerous. Peer pressure can sometimes take you to scary places as evidenced in Gary’s post about work.

  114. RD,

    She sounds like terrific kid, which isn’t surprising since you’re her mom. She has a great role model in you. She will find people she can feel comfortable with. Or they will find her.

    I was lonely as a kid. I went to school with kids who thought it was wierd to have a dad who was a professor. Their dads had car dealerships or they worked in the auto parts factories, stuff like that. I like to read, I was called “brain.” But I discovered Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, The Doors, and Frank Zappa. Through music and literature, I learned there were other people out there like me. I got out of the Midwest and came to Boston when I was 19, during the Summer of Love. I felt at home here from the first day I arrived.

  115. This is a wonderful thread, so heartfelt, and analytical. I’ve never posted here; but I read this everyday. I’m so in sync with nearly everything that has been said. I have always felt like an outsider; it may have something to do with my early religious training, but I’m not sure. It was fundamentalist, but I have rationalized my own thinking and still retain my most important beliefs. I had a very close family, although my father died when I was 16. He was a true progressive populist, in our very conservative, backwards state. My mother was also, and still is, and I’m sure had a lot to do with instilling my basic political beliefs. Holding these progressive values, but still a member of a conservative religion, makes me somewhat of an outsider at church, and also not truly in step with the very liberal youth of today (I am a senior citizen, with a young heart)!

    I am totally outraged, devastated, depressed with the Democratic Party and it’s shenanigans. But I will not be found amongst the Republicans. I want to purge and reform the Dem. Party, and that cannot be done by joining the Republicans. I will vote for NOBODY for president. We have to stick together and continue action prowls. I also read PUMA Pac, and respect Darragh Murphy. I know there are those on both of these blogs who want to vote for McCain, but I cannot see my way to do that.

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