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    • As Palmyra Falls to ISIS, What Are the Syrian Government’s Prospects?
      So, yet another city falls, and the city has some very nice ancient architecture, which we will no doubt soon see sledgehammered.  Some Palmyrans apparently thought the international “community” might protect them since they’re a great cultural site. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so sad. ISIS has fought well and fought smart, and came into [...]
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The Hawk Debate

Back in 2008, I took the step to ban certain words here. For example, if you used the word “racist” in a comment, your comment was auto-moderated. The reason was that whoever was operating the Obama campaign had gone on the offensive and insulted and humiliated innocent bloggers and commenters in order to shut them up. They did this by calling the dissenters racists. It didn’t matter whether we had legitimate reasons for refusing to jump on the Obama bandwagon that had nothing to do with race. An accusation of racism is extremely powerful and they knew what they were doing.

There are a few other trigger words that will get you auto-moderated. I leave discovery as an exercise for the reader. Banning the words doesn’t mean you can’t discuss the issue here. It’s just that taking specific words out of the comments section meant that no one can take the easy way out. You can’t just come here, poop in the punchbowl, and leave thinking you’ve done your job putting the old, uneducated working class Roseanne Barrs who flock here (your perception, not mine) in their place. You know, drop the late consensus reality shaping meme, use the buzzword du jour, put mean spirited peer pressure on these people and watch as they all come groveling back to your side. Nah-gah-happen. We didn’t get to 52,000+ page hits per day during the height of the nauseatingly brutal 2008 campaign season because we took the easy way out and ate our poisoned mushrooms so we would fall into line like TalkLeft and Taylor Marsh and The Left Coaster and Digby’s Hullabaloo. No, we watched what was happening, were thoroughly horrified and took it without flinching. 

As time went on, and the insults and aggression piled on, I became even less likely to vote for Obama. So, there, guys (and you were almost all guys). Good job. You pointed out to me that there was almost no level of offense or character assassination that Obama would not sanction. It spoke volumes about who was supporting him and what he was prepared to overlook in the future.

So, now we come to the topic of the day. This is a debate I have been having with Monster of the Id, who I dearly love and have no intention of banning. It’s about the word “hawk” and why it is always applied to Hillary Clinton.

It has become another one of those words. I am getting ready to auto-moderate comments featuring the word. As stated before, you can argue all you want that Hillary is the biggest supporter of the military industrial complex on the planet. But you’re going to have to show your work. You will not be able to just fling that word around willy nilly because that’s what everyone is saying about her.

Let’s recognize this word for what it is. It’s a mental shortcut that bears little resemblance to actual reality. Here’s my latest comment to Monster after he tried, once again, to explain his ambivalence towards Clinton due to her perceived “hawkishness”:

You’re missing the point. You can vote for whoever you damn well please. For all we know, Arkansas will go D in 2016, or Green or Commie. You don’t know what will happen and I don’t either.

The point is, don’t make up your mind based on the consensus reality of your side. That’s what the left did in 2008 and look who got elected? Was Obama the liberal messiah the left wanted? It fell for the whisperings and mental maneuverings and dogwhistles of the Wormtongues.

Wormtongue says that Hillary is a “hawk”. Oh really? In what way is she a hawk? What does it mean to be a hawk? What are the qualities of a hawk? How many military engagements does a person have to vote for in order to get this designation? Why isn’t John Kerry also called a hawk? Is Hillary more or less of a hawk than John Kerry or John Edwards? To what degree? Is she more or less a hawk than Lindsay Graham?

I only ask.

That’s the problem. Too few people on the left ask. They just accept. Well, someone on the left must have studied the problem, some Juan Cole person must have dug up the records and figured it out. There is no doubt in their minds that Hillary is a hawk, based on some criteria, right? Some authority figure who the left trusts did the math.
But what if no one on the left actually did?

What if it’s just a clever earworm planted there by someone with less than honorable intentions? How would you know?

Consistency is key.

Don’t try to get out of the dilemma you’re in by claiming that your vote doesn’t count or making light of it. What counts is whether everyone has an honest, consistent, unobstructed, unfiltered view of the candidate without shortcuts that terminate the thought process with facile categorization.

If she ends up wanting after you have discarded the shortcuts, fine, at least you will have done your job. But don’t cop out and tell me you can’t trust yourself to make those calls on your own.

The left bungled it badly in 2008 because it didn’t bother to do its own thinking. It became as gullibly pliable as the stupid hicks on the right that it always insists are the authoritarian followers who will swallow any moronic, self-defeating message their right wing leaders throw out there. We Conflucians watched as previously smart people on the left fell for love bombing and conversion diaries, peer pressure and trigger words. They did not distinguish themselves.

Don’t let it happen again.

Like I said, you can vote for whoever fills out your dance card. Make a matrix, put the names of the candidates on the Y axis and the issues you care about on the X axis. Check off the boxes, based on what you hear directly from the candidates or have read about from the most neutral sources you can find. Then, vote for the person who gets the most checks on the grid.

One thing I will predict right now: you’re going to have to figure out what the definition of hawk really means before you check that box for Hillary.

A reminder of what DailyKos is

I’m a bit busy this weekend so I’m just going to repost something I wrote in a comment on Corrente.  But I don’t want anyone to think I spend a lot of time obsessing about DailyKos because I don’t.  It didn’t take me long to figure out four years ago what DailyKos was all about and I have written about it before.  I haven’t been back there for years and I can go months without even thinking about the place.  I don’t yearn to be reinstated.  In fact, quite the contrary for a variety of reasons not least of which is that I don’t want to be associated with what I consider to be an online high control group.

So, here is my reminder of what DailyKos is from Lambert’s post on Allegre’s Writer’s Strike:

Slightly off topic, but following up on the response I had to Hugh above, let’s not kid ourselves about what DailyKos is. It is an enormous focus group. Every now and then a topic will get a lot of attention on the board and that’s the way the operatives and psychometricians figure out what makes lefty types tick. They refine it. They get to know what your trigger words are. They know how to push your buttons so that your emotions circumvent your rational mind. That’s why the racist meme was so effective in 2008. It’s the worst thing you could call a liberal. We react viscerally to that accusation. It’s only the very sane among us who don’t flinch from it and even those of us who know we aren’t racist spend every waking second defending ourselves. If you try to point out what they sneaky ones are up to, you get banned.

DailyKos also love bombs. If you express the preferred thoughts, you get mojo, you get recommended, you become popular. People like you. They want to hang out with you and be your friend. You become a trusted user. You get status. The whole place is rigged to make sure you stay, that you are rewarded for being cooperative and expressing the meme of the day and that they threat of losing your entire online community is real and frightening. No one wants to be exiled. It extends to other blogs as well. I’m sure that Digby is on a short leash as is anyone who signs on to the advertising arm of Kos.

It’s easier to see how this works if you grew up in a religious cult so I had an edge and my shock and horror of being banished from DailyKos lasted about 30 seconds. Then I laughed and started my own blog. I may be a tiny speck of dust in the Oort belt but I am free to say what I like.

But in general, if you hang out in DailyKos or affiliated “blessed” blogs, you will start to short circuit your thought processes. You will start to use buzzwords to explain politically what’s going on and that’s just where they want you. You don’t think about what “neoliberalism” or DLC really mean or how they may have evolved or how to grade the degree to which individuals adhere to a certain philosophy. You are trained to associate a word with a person, the connotation of that word to those persons and that you will be rewarded with good feelings if you do it right and bad feelings if you do it wrong. I realize that neoliberalism means a great deal to some people but I never could understand why. It never did make a lick of sense that so much emphasis is placed on this one word when people rarely fit into black and white categories. But you can be sure that lefty attitudes about the DLC and corporations and Iran and “war hawk” and other buzzwords come from careful seed planting and harvesting on places like DailyKos.

I would avoid any blog that uses a rating system.

 

Pick a side, Digby

One more time, with feeling:

and

Back when the 2008 primary season started to heat up, DailyKos purged its Hillary Clinton supporters.  Oh, yes it did, you doubting Thomasinas.  You can’t believe that a “news site” like DailyKos would be involved in hurrying them off the site as quickly as it possibly could to make way for the Obama ads but it did.  And it wasn’t nice about it.  I was one of the first victims.  That’s why I’m here at this blog.  And to be honest, I never regretted it.  But as we were picked off, one by one, Hillary’s supporters got less of a voice in the left blogosphere.  Pretty soon, a Democratic party loyalist got the distinct impression that the entire party was converting to Barack Obama with all of the fervor of a religious reformation.  The jihad quickly spread to other blogs and the comment threads filled up with Obama zealots who were enthusiastic about killing the infidels.  Some of those Hillary supporters fled to this blog and a few others.  We weren’t welcome anywhere else.  And mind you, we’re only talking about February of 2008.  It happened quickly and thoroughly, almost as if someone had given marching orders for sites to be flooded with anti-Hillary rhetoric.

Digby held out for awhile but even she succumbed.  In the book, the Bloggers on the Bus by Eric Boehlert, Digby confesses that she was “chickenshit”, intimidated by her commenters and somewhat dependent on ad revenue.  Ok, fine.  We get it.  It took her by surprise four years ago.

But what is her excuse now for being a Doormat Democrat and not holding the party accountable for its rampant misogyny and sexism?  Believe me, I hate to be doing this, pointing out the party’s ugly history, but it isn’t doing enough to combat the crazy assholes on the right.  It is the Democratic party’s feet we need to hold to the fire, not the Republicans.  The Republicans wouldn’t have been able to get this far if the gates weren’t already down to let the barbarian horde in.  Where have the Democrats been for the past decade?

And what is Digby’s role in this?  I’ve got a problem with her co-writer, thereisnospoon.  Back in the Great Purge of DailyKos 2008, right in the middle of the Rec List Hostage Crisis, blogger Alegre, who was a well respected Hillary blogger on DailyKos, got fed up with the pressure to convert and decided to stage a “writer’s strike”.  It was symbolic, of course, but its purpose was to call attention to the way that Hillary voices were being marginalized and persecuted on the largest and most influential group blog.  Markos made fun of her.  (nice going, Markos.  How very impartial)

Alegre’s strike post got a lot of comments.  Let me just highlight one:

Don’t let the door hit you (39+ / 0-)
on the ass on your way out.

I have not been posting much or commenting much in the past months, but I have been reading almost everything.

You are propagating baseless, self-serving, inaccurate, and whiny meme’s on a regular basis.

You smear and deride with the worst of the lot, and you expect people to overlook your own behavior?

Spare us the drama.

Buh-bye.

The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

by RedDan on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 05:26:55 PM PDT

straight from the HRC blast faxes (4+ / 0-)
really sad, actually.

Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio’s progressive radio site!

by thereisnospoon on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 05:39:18 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Oh, look!  It’s thereisnospoon, suggesting that Alegre was getting her marching orders from Hillary’s campaign.  We were very fortunate here on The Confluence to be invited to Clinton’s press briefings and got email updates but these were strictly informational.  No one ever asked us to do anything.  I kind of liked the low pressure tactics.  I never felt indoctrinated by Hillary’s campaign and I doubt that Alegre did either.  In fact, when it comes to the writer’s strike on DailyKos, Alegre got that idea from me.

This morning, Atrios pondered why it is that women are told that their issues are a distraction.  It’s always the wimmen.  Why is that?  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because, it doesn’t really serve the purposes of the Democratic party or the Obama administration to rehash old history now, does it?  The last thing they want is an uncomfortable spotlight directed their way so that all the ugliness of four years ago is revealed in all of its glory. “These are not the droids you’re looking for.”  They would much prefer that the Republicans take the blame for all of the wretched mess that happened to women.

But Digby has to take a stand.  What is the role that thereisnospoon plays on her site? The Democrats are never going to do right by us if no one holds them accountable and forces them to act instead of sitting back and letting them bask in undeserved glory.  If you support the Democratic party, no matter what it does or *doesn’t* do, it will not do anything for you.  And the attack on women is so severe that to do nothing and say nothing on your behalf is a crime against your own sex.  That goes for NARAL, NOW, the Feminist Majority, Emily’s List and any other women’s advocacy group that has lost its brass ovaries in the past several decades. They are taking your contributions and giving them to Democratic organizations.  What are they demanding in return?  Why don’t we ask them? If they do not have the courage to stand up for women now, and hold the only party who pretends to care accountable for its actions, then we will continue down this spiral of fewer and fewer rights and less and less respect.

Make the Democrats answerable for all of the less than progressive candidates they are supporting this year.  Make them explain why they are supporting an independent male in Maine rather than a liberal woman.  Force Obama to vigorously defend you.

Women’s groups are not keeping up.  When Occupy is taking to the street, demanding economic equality and non-believers are organizing and demanding recognition as a influential voting bloc at the Reason Rally this coming weekend, women’s groups are timidly hiding behind the Democratic party, hoping it will protect them. They’re still trying to work with the system that screwed them over four years ago. Fuck that shit.  Organize a rally in DC, women.  Get your act together.  No one loves you more than you love yourself.  Let’s stick up for ourselves and make the Democrats court us as aggressively as they court the pro-illegal abortionist lobby.

Make a choice, Digby.  Get rid of your party mole or watch women’s rights get whittled away by the Democrats themselves as they pretend to protect them while doing nothing.  Now is the time, when they are telling us to shut up and sit down, to stand up and raise Hell.

Do I expect Digby to actually do this?  No, I expect that she’ll read this post and that she and her discussion group will laugh about it.  Her conscience will feel a twinge but she won’t act on it because she doesn’t want to alienate herself from the group.  Right, Digby?  And they care about women HOW, exactly?

And for those of you ladies who naively think that DailyKos is some innocuous Democratic news site, pay attention: DailyKos is a site that uses thought reform tactics to promote authoritarian Democratic party propaganda.  Whether it started off with this intention is debatable but there is very little doubt in my mind, after having seen it in action in the 2008 election season, that it was exploited by the political campaign operatives and that Markos put his thumb heavily on the scales for the Edwards campaign and then Obama’s campaign.  Alternative voices were purged.  Here are some posts I wrote a few months ago to warn people about the dangers of thought reform in the political blogosphere.

You’ve been Love Bombed

Phobias

Categories

Ok, I think we’re on to something here

Finally, those of you doubting Thomasina’s who are caught completely off guard about what is happening this year and can’t possibly believe that Hillary was done in by her own party, go back to the origins of this blog and read from the beginning.  We followed it very closely.  It is not a pretty story.  You will be disgusted.

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuit

I’ve got a theory that the last thing Republicans want is for the Democrats to start advocating for women.  It suits them just fine that there are so many libertarian and conservative Blue Dog Democrats running for office.  It works in the Republicans’ favor that so many new Democratic candidates are center right.  The minute that the Democratic party starts to get energized and stops sitting on women, the non-religious and labor, the Republicans will be in trouble.  As long as the Democrats take no stand, the Republicans win.

Think about it.

You’ve been love bombed

Love bombing- It’s not just for religions anymore.  It’s a very powerful propaganda technique.  Feel like you’ve lost one too many elections lately?  Unloved?  Ignored?

Be very, very careful:

Does OWS love bomb?  From what I can tell, no.  OWS is completely passive about who joins them.  They do not recruit and they won’t flatter you or make you feel loved.  If you ever feel that way at a OWS rally, leave.  The only exception was the batsignal.  But note that the batsignal was directed outwards to the world.  It said “Occupy Earth” because the point is not to exclude anyone.  The point of love bombing is to exclude everyone who does not belong to the group.  You derive your self-worth and self-esteem from the group and seeing the world as your enemy, not potential friends.

Here’s another, more detailed explanation of love bombing from a former JW.  CSTapostate takes you step by step through the process.

Note that the initial love bombing is not the thing that keeps people in the group.  Love bombing becomes an effective cult retention technique when a new recruit begins to have doubts.  Once you have identified with the group and have taken on the new personality because you have been praised and loved, the last thing you want is to lose that shiny new you and all of the love and acceptance that comes with it.  You don’t want to become like the less special people, the less spiritual, less intelligent, less enlightened, less beautiful.

The point is not that you are or are not any of those things.  The point is that if you feel that someone can deprive you of your self -worth because that someone gave you that personality in the first place, if you feel like that someone could deprive you of that specialness by deciding to exclude you from the group when you raise questions or express doubts, then you have been manipulated through love bombing.

If you have doubts about the movement or group you are in, one of the ways to discover whether you have been love bombed is to ask yourself if you are allowed to dissent or question and still remain in the group.  If you can answer yes, then the group is low control and you’re safe.  If your doubts are followed by accusations that you are no longer quite as shiny, creative and intelligent as they thought and that maybe you are secretly a bigot or something equally reprehensible, then you are in a high control group and you should do research about the group before you get in any further.

For example, if you are in the left wing media or blogosphere, do you feel obligated to bash Bill Clinton whenever you’re writing a column or doing an interview thinking that if you *don’t* immediately distance yourself from any sympathies to the Clinton administration you might not be invited back? Did you ever ask yourself why you feel that way?  Go on, ask yourself.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions and exercising independent thought.  If you feel uncomfortable making independent decisions in a group because you fear you will lose the love, get out.

Postscript: I watched that CSTapostate video again and something hit me that I hadn’t noticed before.  He used the example of holidays.  JWs separate new JWs from their families by forbidding holidays.  CST goes on to describe the messiness of holidays.  Families gather in one house and they end up sleeping on floors and everything is kind of messy but that’s Ok because the whole experience is bonding.  It brings everyone together.  One of the first things JWs tell new recruits is that there can be no family holidays anymore.  If you as the new JW recruit can’t give up holiday gatherings, then maybe you weren’t the beautiful, highly spiritual, good association they thought you were.  Maybe younger, more vulnerable members of the congregation should limit their contact with you until you’re ready to fulfill your obligations.  The WBTS breaks up families and bonding experiences when they love bomb because the WBTS is a high control group.

If you don’t see the similarity to the violent evictions of OWS occupation sites, you haven’t been paying attention.  The last thing a high control group wants is for us to get together in one big holiday sleepover where we can find common ground and bond.  That’s why Occupiers are made to look dirty, crazy-radical, lazy, disgruntled, sexually promiscuous and indiscreet, and indiscriminate about where they poop.  If you start to sympathize with the Occupiers, you will take on those characteristics and you will no longer be part of the group of clean, upstanding American citizens.  The most important task that the media had to do during the fall was to make the occupiers as reprehensible as possible in order to discourage the average American who has doubts about the direction that the country is going in to actually go down to an occupation site and meet some occupiers.  The high control elements in our society  did not want any of us bonding over a campfire song.

If anything, OWS is underlining  the seriousness of the situation we are in.  The country is in the grip of a high control authoritarian cult.

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