Recommended Reading for Earnest Voters

    I hope you, Dag reader,  watched the most recent Republican debate centered on foreign policy. If so, I hope that on that one issue alone every candidate on stage convinced you that they are each and all disqualified but also that it is a critically dangerous possibility that one of these people becomes the leader of our country and the commander in chief of our armed forces. No one can turn the big ship of state around quickly but the CIC is in a position to, on their own, speed that big mutha right onto the rocks in short order. We need someone to first slow it down and then start turning it around. That isn't any Republican but it isn't Hillary either, I am afraid.

    If those candidates demonstrated ignorance and apparent stupidity, coupled with sociopathic, if not psychopathic, personalities scares you like it does me, you might take solace in the fact that Hillary will most likely win. On that one particular issue of foreign policy though I am firmly convinced that that is misguided hope.

    I have just finished reading “The Queen of Chaos - The misadventures of Hillary Clinton” by Diana Johnstone and I recommend it.  If you are open to hearing an inciteful critique or Hillary’s policies based on a study of her history placed within a very well developed context I suggest that the 175 pages are well worth investing in.  

    “Wow! No other book cuts so starkly and accurately to the heart of the current violent chaos engulfing the world, and to the significance of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s decades-long love affair with power that has helped push us to this precarious moment in history. The well-researched chronology and factual details compiled by Diana Johnstone about Honduras, Rwanda, Libya, Bosnia and Kosovo, to Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, turned into bloodbaths and finally into dangerous, failed states, constitutes the harsh reality that we need to appreciate if, as decent people, we want to regain some moral conscience. But also for our simple self-preservation. "Certainly Hillary is not the only neocon pyromaniac who likes to set a fire and then laugh when no one can put it out. But as she now vies for leadership of that cabal, more and more people will hopefully see through their Orwellian lies, effectively selling perpetual war to the US-NATO-Israel as a noble cause to bring democracy, human rights, peace and love. Self-perpetuating war may indeed make the war profiteers happy and wealthy who so prominently top the Clintons’ donor list, but it is indeed as stupid as playing with fire. In putting a nuclear-armed Russia in their sights, the story cannot end well for anyone. I can assure that if you read Johnstone’s book, you will want to help put out this insanity." — Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel, whistleblower and one of TIME Magazine’s Persons of the Year for 2002.



    “Diana Johnstone’s Queen of Chaos is an excellent source of information for Hillary Clinton’s political rivals But it’s much more than that. It offers very perceptive accounts of US foreign policy of the last 25 years, particularly the complex and highly controversial cases of Libya, Yugoslavia, Honduras and Russia, as well as the issue of women in power. ‘Is there something wrong with American women,’ Johnstone asks, ‘that they need Hillary Clinton as President to make them feel better?’” — William Blum, author Killing Hope.

    And from the introduction:

    'Vote For Me, I’m a Woman.   Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent years trying to sell women on the idea that their ambition, rather than hers, will be rewarded if she is elected President of the United States. The idea seems to be that if she “breaks the glass ceiling”, American women en masse will pour through, occupying the upper floors, the attic, even the roof. But do we need to “prove” that a woman can be president? If women can be wrestlers, for which they are clearly not naturally qualified, a woman can certainly be President. There is no serious qualification for the office that a woman lacks. Proving this fairly obvious point is not the most crucial issue at stake in the next U.S. Presidential election. There is also the little matter of whether or not to lead the country into war with a major nuclear power. Avoiding World War III is somewhat more urgent than “proving” that a woman can be President of the United States. Throughout world history, women have been rulers. This fact has had very little effect on the daily lives of millions of women. Like Hillary herself, women rulers have most often been the daughters or wives of male rulers. On her South Asia tour in 1995, she observed, Introduction III as her biographer Carl Bernstein notes, that “Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka all had governments headed by women, yet women are held in such disregard in their cultures that newborn girls are sometimes killed or abandoned.” The social condition of women in a society does not depend on whether or not the country has a Queen. Women are distinguishing themselves in many fields where genuine accomplishment is more significant than politics in creating inspiring role models. For example, in August 2014, Maryam Mirzakhani was the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal for excellence in mathematics. This could set a positive trend. In politics, as in other fields of power, women are often their own “glass ceiling”, in the sense that they may be content to stay out of the limelight in order to help others. This is not to be despised. But for women who need a politically powerful female as a role model, history offers Cleopatra, Catherine the Great of Russia, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen Elizabeth the First, among many others. Many elected national leaders in today’s world are women, most notably in Latin America. It’s too late for the United States to take the lead by electing a women president, but don’t worry, the USA is sure to catch up eventually. Is there something wrong with American women that they need Hillary Clinton as President to make them feel better? Certainly not. American women are creating many new ways to lead fruitful, useful and rewarding lives. And rather than making us feel better, it might make us feel much worse if the first woman President brings disaster on the world. Let us hope that the inevitable first woman president will be a person distinguished by a profound understanding of the world and genuine human compassion, rather than by relentless personal ambition."



    I suppose you did mean "inciteful" rather than "insightful". Will try to make it through this piece, but it started off like that - Dr. Freud feels vindicated.

    Uggh, made it through your piece - only clickbait, plus a strange paean to the success of women - Cleopatra from 2000 years ago, Eleanor from 900 before, Catherine from 200, and then Elizabeth I - for some reason ignoring Victoria, as well as Elizabeth II in our time.

    Cleopatra - married to her brother and sleeping with Caesar to stay in power - probably inspires Trump as a near-perfect wife. Catherine managed to depose her incompetent husband and take charge (probably something Hillary contemplated during the Monica days). Eleanor as most power lost her lands by marrying, but then got an annulment & re-married, setting up the new king (why is she on this list?). Elizabeth, daughter of the famed serial wooer Henry VIII, roughly went from imprisoned in the tower to the throne at 25. 

    Hard to say what the lesson from these women are, being all royalty (oh, silly me, guess it's that dynasty thing), aside from that Russia's been over 200 years without a female leader, France & Egypt longer, and America's never had one, but hey, feel good, ladies - a number of banana republics down south are run by las Damas bonitas ("they got a lot of nice girls down there" - ZZ Top, including the famous Doña Bárbara, fictitious caudilla bitch extraordinaire).

    Is being female the only message Hillary's running on? Hardly. Would such open contempt and slurs for a possible first X president be used with a black or Hispanic candidate? rather doubtful. Misogyny reigns supreme as the only bias that's always in-season (even Muslim slurs ebb and floe).

    But hey, the book promises lots of good dirt on foreign intrigue - probably some of it is even true.

    If women can be wrestlers, for which they are clearly not naturally qualified,

    Please explain exactly why women are not qualified by nature to wrestle.

    Is being female the only message Hillary's running on?

    Of coarse not and that is also a very small part of what the book is saying. It is a small part of the introduction. But, it is an obvious factor that many add to their reasons to support her and one that she emphasizes every chance she gets. The obvious point of that  bit is that being a woman is very far from an over-riding reason to vote for her. 

    If women can be wrestlers, for which they are clearly not naturally qualified, Please explain exactly why women are not qualified by nature to wrestle.

    Great catch. I have wrestled with a few women myself and wrestling, being one of my high-school sports as a young man, I will say that some of them were quite good at it and their nature and physic really added to the whole experience. That said, do you mean that to be a quote that diminishes the idea presented by the entire paragraph? 

    Whoops I conflated two different sources and responded as if they were the same. Regarding PP's question about whether I meant "inciteful,  or "insightful"; it was the second although either would be accurate if inciteful is even a word,

    "The obvious point of that  bit is that being a woman is very far from an over-riding reason to vote for her. " - of course if she weren't Spawn of Satan incarnate and known to be Linda Blair's on-set film coach, that female angle might be worth a bit, but since she eats babies, holds orgies with the Trilateralists and GOP Senate Christian-fundamentalist "Fellowship", and is conspiring to bring on WWIII, really, women should hold out until there's a true female Lamb of the Ark that appears in our midst. I mean, I'm sure we'll get there within the next few hundred years, if global warming doesn't get us first.

    Yes, that is all in the book you are slamming without having read, every bit of it, even the reflection it casts on the author except for, well, every single bit of it. Actually, everything in that comment is pure bullshit. Bullshit, by the definition I am using, has no regard for truth one way or the other. That is not always your way, often you have something intelligent to add, but you have resorted to it here. You have often acknowledged that Hillary has been a bit scary on foreign policy, maybe you put it differently, but now when that aspect of her expected actions or her neocon-like political philosophy as CiC is studied and reported on you go into BS mode as, apparently, the only way you can defend her. 

    [Rather, bullshitters quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are. ...

    ... "Frankfurt's book should be required reading for anyone whose speech or writing are intended for public consumption. Despite his subject, he is definitely not full of it."--Kevin Wood, The Daily Yomiuri]




    I've also retorted against endless amounts of bullshit re: Ukraine, and have a good sense of smell when more bullshit's coming round the bend. And I did respond re: the nonsense about Srebrenica - no, I won't pay for her book. And if she had something serious to say, tying it into gender attacks like women are 3-years-old and need to be told their priorities is pretty stupid. #McKaylaIsNotImpressed

    Are you actually even paying any attention or just incapable of not reacting with knee-jerk spasmodic BS? Where do you see a gender attack? And, your retort regarding Ukraine was much the same. The allegations I supported have been verified by many independent sources and continue to be. Your idea of a sensible response then was, much like your BS in this thread ; Putin is Russian, Stalin was Russian, so Putin is evil and Russians are evil so whatever we did, whatever we did, was not only justifiable but also smart. Both those conclusions have been shown to be wrong. I guess because I had the better sense then to quit responding to empty BS you thought you had proven your unsupportable point. As soon as you convince me that there is any logic to that kind of “retort” I will join you in supporting bombing of Germany among others. Merkel is not just German but East German. Nuff said, Right? Bombs away. Don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Amsterdam. [Close enough to set up a forward base.] 


    Gender attack? From "‘Is there something wrong with American women that they need Hillary Clinton as President to make them feel better?’ and 'Vote For Me, I’m a Woman", on down.

    Re: Putin, no, I don't consider him "evil" like I do consider Stalin. But he's overal an opportunistic and immoral (amoral) leader who's reversed the chance for democracy in Russia, committed some ugly mess killings in Chechnya and has reasserted traditional Russian colonialist attitudes towards Ukraine - an attitude some "progressives" seem to forgive as long as it's not American imperialism/colonialism. 

    I haven't forgotten Russia's role in communism and the enslavement of Eastern Europe, the mass famines in Ukraine, the Beria purges from the 20's to the 50's (including the ethnic cleansing of Crimea), Stalin's partition of Poland and later ethnic cleansing there, and Brezhnev's big bear/huge army threat over Europe that was only cured by Brzezinski drawing him into Afghanistan, but I don't pretend that anything since the fall of the wall has been close to as awful as under the Soviet Union.

    I do regard our policy in Ukraine as relatively smart, as the best we could do under the conditions without exacerbating the situation but instead calming it down significantly, and paving the way for a solution or exit long term. Our success with increasing oil & natural gas production has also significantly lowered the blackmail that Putin had over Europe the last decade (and has drained his coffers significantly, lowering his potential damage).

    As for Ms.Johnstone, her attack on the UN investigation ignores the actual ethnic cleansing that took place & lumps their efforts in with some misguided attempt to hijack "genocide" for lesser purposes. She's awfully proud of herself & her stand, with not much sympathy for the victims of murder, rape & expulsion, and readily adopts the Serb excuse that these were just men & boys of military age whose skeletons in mass graves are scattered over 70-100km (most with bullet holes in the backs of their skulls), and ignores the larger killing and expulsions to focus only on the 1 town, thereby conveniently missing the pattern.

    She chalks US involvement up simply to the desire to ally with radical Muslims over secular, from the Clinton Administration onward. How this jibes with Bill Clinton's decent ties with Turkey's pro-western secular government in the 90's, with his encouragement of Khatami & increased freedom in Iran, with his modest containment of Iraq with overflight zones during the 90's, with his bombing of Islamist Sudan as retribution for embassy bombings that those of her ilk were outraged by, and his overall tilt towards Israel even while negotiating with Arafat - I've no idea. So from the bias in that article, I just don't see a good reason to go on to her book. Our sanctions against Qaddafi had to do with the Berlin and Lockerbie bombings, and it was only Qaddafi's quick pivot to align with the west after 9/11 that permitted a thaw in relations. (the IRA did much the same thing). That's why the overthrow of Qaddafi later is so troubling - he'd cased to be a thorn in our side either practically or symbolically, and our support for the protesters & armed rebels in Benghazi wasn't consistent with our support against the peaceful protesters in Bahrain, while in Egypt we kind of split the baby.

    I'd guess she thinks Putin was justified in Chechnya, that Milosevic was justified in Kosovo & Bosnia. She ignores France & Italy's role re: Benghazi revolt and the desire for oil, and lays it solely on some paranoid long-term game plan of the US to befriend bad Muslims. Even her conclusion that accusing the Serbs of genocide foments radical Islam has it backwards - Muslims see us as acting like a friend even in a case with no oil, against a nationalist Balkan tyrant. 

    If this is "BS", so be it. Can't see that I'm changing the rules or topic mid-discussion, but hey, always different viewpoints.

    Starting from the bottom:

     If this is "BS", so be it.Can't see that I'm changing the rules or topic mid-discussion, but hey, always different viewpoints.

    No, I do not consider this comment of yours to be total BS as I did before when I made that charge, but rather a collection of assertions and judgments that can be considered.


    Starting over from the top: I simply disagree totally with your first paragraph. I do not see Johnstone degrading or attacking women in any way but rather the exact opposite. I also do not in any way see her degrading or attacking Hillary for being a woman. She is simply making the case that Hillary should not get extra points just because of being a woman if she is the wrong woman.

    I do not see Putin as a threat to the US except in the case of us going to war with Russia. I see him as the popular elected leader of a powerful country which has some legitimate national security concerns beyond its immediate borders. I see him being pushed by policies and actions, most importantly by the US which, if the situation were reversed then many here would demand a response with force and many, including most of the ones responsible for that pushing, are advocating strongly that we push harder. I think that is a stupid policy.I think we should work with him in Syria. It is what Hillary thinks though that is actually important.

    We disagreed on how and why the forces came together to enable the coup in Ukraine that kicked out a corrupt but legitimately elected oligarch and replaced him with another cabal of corrupt oligarchs and also on whose meddling was more justifiable. We could rehash that in another blog and include the further evidence that has emerged and developed, but in this blog what is pertinent is Hillary’s involvement in the development of the situation and/or her positions about what to do going forward. Ukraine is only one of the past and ongoing events upon which Johnstone makes her case. There is also Honduras, Rwanda, Libya, Bosnia and Kosovo, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela ... 

    Johstones judgments of Hillary are in the context of Hillary’s involvement in many instances of the support for and implementation of bad policies in the foreign policy arena. Among the adjectives that can be correctly applied to some of those actions/policies include stupid, illegal, wrong, unconstitutional, and counterproductive. She is far from alone in being responsible but she is the one running as a favorite to become our President.

    Some people obviously believe the policies and actions within the situations which Johnstone develops and presents as evidence were just fine, that they worked out about as well as could be expected, or if they didn’t  work out or even if they turn into disasters that it doesn’t really matter and that body counts only count in the “Homeland”.  I disagree. Johnstone makes a strong case, IMO that supports my disagreement. You oversimplify and distort her case which she went into in depth and do so with assertions about a very small part of her case.

    I'd guess she thinks Putin was justified in Chechnya, that Milosevic was justified in Kosovo & Bosnia.

    That is all you could possibly do at this point is guess, but any guess would be off topic. Hillary's justifications are what is important. I do not intend to try to retread everything Johnstone said which convinced me recommend her book, but I would be happy to send you a copy. 



    You seem to be arguing with PP that there is no sexism in Johnstone's book yet here seem to be admitting there is blatant sexism in the introduction you quoted. Most of us cannot comment on the book. All we have is the section you quoted. I see subtle to blatant sexism. Does that mean the book is sexist? Who knows? But it's certainly valid to consider bias in the author when discussing your recommendation.

    The first three sentences of the intro are what I consider a straw man argument that also indicates bias. No Hillary is not saying "Vote For Me, I’m a Woman." Nor are people supporting her for that reason. If it were all about having a female president women would have flocked to support Bachman or Fiorina. Just as the accusations that people supported Obama because he's black are wrong. If blacks just wanted a black president they'd be backing Carson. Once certain policy positions are met gender or race might be one reason that moves someone to chose a candidate. But it's clearly not the major reason or even in the top several reasons.

    The premise that the intro you quoted is based on is flawed, massively. That coupled with clear sexism doesn't incline me to seek out this book.

    If you are referring to my saying "Great catch" then you missed my lame effort at ironic humor. 

    We disagree. I think you are completely wrong. I think you are probably stretching for ways to object to Johnstone’s book. If you expect me to see that I “Admitted” that there is blatant sexism in the introduction when I have stated specifically, and I believe I have stated clearly, that I believe exactly the opposite you have, so far, completely failed.

    I was not careful enough in formatting that entry so maybe it is not clear that “Vote for Me, I’m a Woman” was the title of a section. It just is meant to introduce a topic. The claim is then made that Hillary, even if she does not express the idea specifically in that way, does continue to make the fact that she is a woman a reason to believe that she a better candidate in some ways a part of her campaign. She would have her hoped-for supporters believe that her gender makes her more aware of women’s problems and the trials of being a woman in a man’s world. She plays to and for the emotional impact which that reality could/should have on anyone considering her. She uses her work with women’s and children’s issues to reinforce this idea, that is fair and it may be, probably is, correct on those issues and in Hillary's particular case even if not automatically so for all women just because they are women. And, it seems so obviously demonstrated in so many of her speeches that she says so over and over as part of her campaign that she is better on women’s issues because she has the experience of being a woman,  and that so many of her supporters repeat it over and over that it seems it should not be necessary to try to demonstrate that fact here with any of the many examples that are available. It also should be obvious that, for whatever reason,  the fact that hillary is a woman is actually a very large part of her appeal to many and that is fair too. But that can be, IMO, and that of Johnstone, as misplaced a value in this particular case if it is anyone's deciding factor ,as is the mistake that any man, even any particular man, would automatically be a better candidate in some ways just because he is a man, but some believe it.

    It may be true that a woman could/would bring something unique and valuable to the job. It could at the same time be true that a particular woman, Hillary in this case, can match any of the particular male candidates in any significant quality or talent or skill. All that could be true. It could at the same time also be true that a woman candidate could have those unique qualities that only a woman might bring to the job but also that a particular woman, again Hillary in this case, could be disqualified in other ways. In such a case it is a mistake for a voter to let that woman’s appeal, as a woman and for good reasons in that area, blind them to over-riding faults in other areas.  That is one aspect of the argument which Johnstone is making. The important part though is the case she makes that Hillary, the particular woman that is the subject, does actually have such significant faults which are of such importance that they should disqualify her even though she might have well-placed trust in those other areas.

    That part of the intro is Johnstone wondering about and commenting on the rationality of anyone, I think, even though she just refers to women doing so, of choosing to let Hillary’s gender carry as much weight as it does when there are very important reasons to reject her. She very clearly says that gender should not in any way disqualify Hillary or any woman as such from becoming President. She much more clearly and at much greater length demonstrates why she believes that Hillary actually should be disqualified. It is obvious that not all agree, that’s why the campaign to bring in new blood, so to speak. I realize that the woman that Hillary is described in the book as being, in relation to her FP thinking and often expressed hawkish opinions,  [described correctly, I think] is just what some people want, maybe just what you want. Robert Kagan, for instance, thinks she will be just fine and dandy for the neocons and their disastrously effective programs and he is in a pretty good position to know how she thinks. That fact, to me, further reinforces Johnstone’s conclusions. Your mileage may differ. Depends on what your driving. 


    Quite the laugh. I watched the debates this morning and she won primarily by being cool and prepared, something she did back in '92 during the campaign and starting in '93 in making the First Lady's wing a political policy branch. Yeah, I have objections to some of her foreign policy, but do suspect that in putting together all these coalitions she'll listen to some of the other leaders involved, which will improve the results. I liked her realization that ISIS would love us to be their and she won't give them that gift. I liked OMalleys line about not being the worlds police and chasing monsters. I liked Sanders' take on too much foreign meddling, but in this case we have to act somehow - coordinating Assad's departure at the same time is fine with me - I'm less critical of that thand getting rid of Qaddafi, but the main goals arr to cool the civil war and rise of ISIS. In any case, Hillary's the only one who comes across presidential. Yes, she is the right woman and right person. I think she'll do fine on police abuse, etc. I don't think we'll get far running against wall street and against police - I agree our need to build coalitions. Al Gore ran against capitalism and corporates in his campaign and I think it set up the campaign to be close - he tried to be Bill Bradley, run against his own record, ignore Silicon Valley, etc. Sanders wants a fight that I don't think we can win. I think we're better off engaging with some demands - less with the GOP, but more with other interests.

    If you are referring to my saying "Great catch" then you missed my lame effort at ironic humor. 

    I guess I did miss the humor. Your unequivocal agreement made me think you were not as misogynistic as I had thought. So much so that I decided not to mention that your missing it in the first place shows you have a blind spot for sexism. But I'm not surprised you saw it as something to laugh about rather than an egregious example of sexism. I've already made it clear I think you have some unexamined misogyny in your thinking that you really should take out and look at.

    I don't care about Johnstone's book and I know nothing about it beyond what you posted. I'm not looking for a way to object to the book.. I'm reacting to your blog and the quote you included.

    What a tiresome twisted piece of work you are.  I jokingly refer to sexual play with some women who were enjoying it too, which happens to be true and happens to be a perfectly normal way of interacting with a woman, and wasn’t ever anything ugly, and you jump at the chance to broadcast that I have shown evidence that I hate women. You are a twisted, mean spirited idiot. Take your diagnosis and stick it back up your ass where you found it. Then go fuck yourself.

    As I said, I didn't get your joke at all. I thought it was a serious response. I thought you were actually acknowledging the sexism in the quote. I thought you actually were on a wrestling team in high school and were acknowledging that women could easily wrestle as good as men. Only now, after your explanation, do I get your joke. I wasn't commenting on some "sexual play" joke because I totally missed the reference.

    Your hyperbolic and emotional reaction just convinces me more that you have some issues you're in denial with. Men our age grew up in a very different culture and need to read, think, and re-examine over and over again to purge beliefs from that sexist, racist, and homophobic past. It's clear you haven't bothered to do that work at least as far as sexism in concerned.

    See above.

    /shrug whatever. It's amazing to me that so many people think other people care about their insults. I don't expect your agreement. In fact I was shocked when I mistakenly thought I got it. I think I've lined up my evidence fairly well. As always, other people will decide if my arguments are more convincing than your list of insults.

    edit to add: Frankly dude you have a real problem you need to deal with. When rmrd accused me of islamaphobia I was able to discuss the issue with him. Even Wattree was capable of a discussion when he was accused of antisemitism. It says a lot about you when you're less able to deal with criticism than wattree.

    Great catch. I have wrestled with a few women myself and wrestling, being one of my high-school sports as a young man, I will say that some of them were quite good at it and their nature and physic really added to the whole experience.
    Like Ocean, I gave you credit for that. Until ...
    I jokingly refer to sexual play with some women who were enjoying it too, which happens to be true and happens to be a perfectly normal way of interacting with a woman, and wasn’t ever anything ugly, and you jump at the chance to broadcast that I have shown evidence that I hate women.
    Lulu, it appears that you either took Ms. Johnstone's remark to which Ocean originally referenced as a sexually humorous aside, or you chose to personally make it one. Either way, when in the context of the first female presidential candidate, terming it distasteful is an understatement.

    And I need to add that calling "wrestling" with a woman "sexual play" is not only misogynistic, it's dangerous; borderline abusive. I'm commenting because your apparent lack of understanding, frankly, causes my blood pressure to rise.

    I take it you're not an Andy Kaufman fan ;-)

    Nota bene: I would still object to the idea that wrestling with a woman is de facto misogynistic. Like a variety of practices, it's rather up to the participants to figure out their comfort zone, and there are of course different shades of wrestling just like there are different shades of gray. 

    & the sexual reference joke about wrestling are a bit more high school/Beavis & Butthead than anything. Which I guess is why the Andy Kaufman thing was popular/unpopular/provoking & provocative.

    Kaufman's problem wasn't whether the jokes were funny or not. It was that he was using unwitting dupes who weren't in on the joke as his props for his provocative reality performances. It's great when people get the joke and joke back in character but you can't put people in a position where they are forced to do that and expect it to turn out well.

    Lu, you came to a knife fight with a laser pointer and fell into a trap of your own making. Offering the Hillarybots a free and accurate anti-HRC book, while a nice gesture, was foolish because it might as well have been a cyanide pill or red flag waved before the True Believers.

    I can appreciate the rationale presented as the reason for some women and men of a certain age demanding HRC's election, this is the last chance for a woman of their generation to to reach this symbolic and powerful  height and they will have their satisfaction, damn the consequences.

    The successful tactic OK used on you and your arguments is being called Redwashing, making any critique of HRC appear to come from the same source as the Right Wing Republican smear, sexist , misogynistic and irrational Liberal hating Conservatives. Unfortunately your last comment reinforced that diversion.


    Ah yes, the vast conspiracy keeping the "accurate" HRC info from the unwashed masses. Quick check: will this book not be a best seller because the sheeple are too dumb and easily misled, or the gatekeepers have blocked off access?

    The Democratic debates have attracted 15.3 million, 8.5 million and 6.7 million viewers. Surely that's enough to storm the Bastille and bring down Hillary Antoinette?

    Hillary's not my generation, so I guess I'm immorally satisfying myself? (if it feels good, do it - no?). Oh, but the consequences - the pain, the remorse, the children...

    Redwashing? No, the cherry-picked purity factors are distinctly left wing, as I've pointed out to Hal - somehow the head of the NNU nurses union endorsing Bernie in a non-transparent manner is acceptable, while another union endorsing non-transparently Hillary shows her corrupt ways.

    Leftist misogyny is usually waiting for the "right" woman, while rightist mysogyny is just telling the woman where her place is - i.e. one is searching for the unicorns and princess fairies, while the other just sees women as ogres and witches. In leftist misogyny, gals are one of they guys, so get to listen to the guys' sexist jokes inclusively. In rightist misogyny, gals are the butt of the joke, but considered too stupid to notice. Hope I cleared that up for you. Obviously the leftist world is will be perfect, because... because. The struggle, the burn, etc., etc.

    You seem to be the one propagating old memes about 'vast conspiracies', 'purity'  and what other people think about women's issues and male behavior defined by your personal definitions that reek of Redwashing.

    I don't need a book to know who and what HRC is and neither does anyone else who has followed her slouching towards Washington for twenty years. The slime trail she and her, partner in slime, have left has always been clearly visible even ignoring most of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and their often rude attacks. Young people might gain some insight about this woman's grooming by and positioning in the power structure from this book and how she has operated in those positions, it's an ugly story but the truth often is.

    I don't have a dog in this race so HRC winning the Democrat nomination doesn't bother me, she represents the people who support her and that is also an ugly reflection of our degenerate politics.

    The fun is just beginning and when the Trump/Clinton debates begin the fireworks will explode.



    In boxer terms, a lot of flailing, not much connecting.

    "Leftist misogyny is . . . waiting for the 'right' woman".  Makes sense, men who don't support the wrong woman must hate women.  We're not allowed to have standards when it comes to women candidates I guess.  Is that because women don't measure up generally PP or is there some other reason?

    Related but not about misogyny or even women as such. Quite short.


    Of course - has nothing to do with calling women cunts or as Trump does, ascribe getting "schlonged": - you poor guys, you're just trying to have a good time, and these Hillary freaks keep harshing your buzz.

    Apparently someone else said what you're thinking. That doesn't make it true. With the population in the US over 300 million and the world pop over 7 billion everybody can find someone who agrees with them. Your link was short since it was nothing more than naked assertions without evidence or even a convincing argument to back them up. Without evidence or a good argument I don't care what some "guy on the internet's" opinion is.

    I would guess you don't quite mean that, and I think it's important to note - 

    once upon a time ... [turned this into a blog post instead]

    I actually do mean it. Much of what you talk about in your blog is what I call a convincing argument. A debate isn't just links,  data, and proofs. It's also, sometimes only, making a good argument, as you said, "in a way that was lucid and compelling and convincing." We can't all be as good as MLK, or, one of my favorites, Sam Harris, But we can make convincing arguments. The link I criticized was 5 sentences, each asserted as if a truth, each I disagreed with in part or wholly, without a single argument to back them up.

    You are beginning to sound like a lawyer trying to divert attention from your, guilty as sin, client HRC. Deflection and diversion are useful tools of distraction and turn a debate of facts and evidence into a little circus of horrors  unrelated to the subject at hand.

    HRC and her minions have used these tactics effectively so far because her fans are already in the Veal Pen but when she faces The Donald in the main event, cage-fight in front of a real mixed crowd they won't be very effective, See the imagined first debate at Counterpunch to learn how easily her weak facade can be dismantled exposing the hollow creature lurking beneath.


    Good timing - we were just discussing the lack of intelligent argument these days, and ooh,you show up with "Veal Pen" and "minions" and "hollow creature" and "little circus of horrors" (isn't that cutting into Roger Corman copyright?). Cut us, we bleed. Yet you forgot "sheeple" and "poutrage" - wasted opportunity, no?

    When a critique of Hillary begins with the equivalent of space aliens or a long list of uncatalogued gripes strung together, it's pretty easy to just file them in the bank of other hater porn. "debate of facts and evidence" is a rather self-aggrandizing assessment of buckets of shit thrown up against a wall to see what might stick (though if you're bent that way from the beginning, everything sticks). Anyway, I'll leave Counterpunch to its cage fantasies - La Cage aux Folles is already well-established as the stage version of "ship of fools", so they'll have good company and sterling pedigree.

    The only link I see is to purchase it for 10 bucks.
    Do you have another source for it?

    He is referring to my offer to buy a copy for anyone at Dag up to five total. I have had one person accept and I tried to  make it clear that I did not want them to hold back any criticism they might have. I really would like to hear what you would say and I really do hope to get to buy all five.  My offer is somewhere in the thread. 

    Very well, then. Count me in. I sent my email address through the dagblog contact thingee.


    I tried to  make it clear that I did not want them to hold back any criticism they might have.

    Of course there are some reasonable limits to that criticism. If anyone sees any sexism in the book or any of the comments that's really not something we should talk about, unless it's to laugh at it.

    You live in a deep dark world of hidden agendas and conspiracies. It must make the world much more interesting for you. I think most of the time what appears to be happening is actually what is happening. Here at dag, in our little backwater corner of the web, what appears to be happening on the surface is what's really happening.

    People read a post and react to it, usually because they think some facts are incorrect or they disagree with the opinions stated. We do it because we're news junkies who like to discuss the news we read. Nothing more than that. I doubt that anyone here thinks their posts are going to have some effect on legislation passed in congress or on the elections. We're too small a site with too few readers.

    I saw what I considered a sexist statement in the blog. I reacted to it. I didn't react because it was a critique of Hillary. There's been many critiques of Hillary I didn't react to. I reacted because the statement was sexist. I know it's hard for you to comprehend such simple motivations but that's all that happened here.

    A while back I posted what you considered to be an unflattering picture of Hillary posing for a picture and flashing a peace sign. My main point that I stated had to do with the peace sign. You insisted that someone had caught her at a bad instant [Sorry, straight shooter, that’s just the way she looks] and for me to post it had to mean that I hated not just Hillary, which I don’t,  but all women. That is what misogyny means, you know.    

    Part of your rant about my alleged misogyny included a self-righteous statement to the effect that it wasn’t just about defending  Hillary, you would go after anyone who used such despicable tactics regardless even if the target was a Republican whom you didn’t like. Yes, you are a high minded straight shooter who treats all transgressors the same, you say, but you have passed on a few chances to prove it in just the last couple of days. One comment on a different thread had five or six disparaging descriptions of Trumps looks all tied to insulting everything about him and his campaign. That was fine with me, didn’t bother me a bit. Trump is a jerk, he is a public figure, and most relevant, he is a politician and he does look goofy, but I did wonder why you didn’t fly in with your cape waving in a sudden blast of hot air. Then I put up this blog and came the results that you have been a big part of.

    I saw what I considered a sexist statement in the blog. I reacted to it. I didn't react because it was a critique of Hillary.

    Well, that part of it having nothing to do with Hillary is easy to say and maybe even easy for you to believe but I don’t. .

    Here is a recent insightful comment.

    I think most of the democrats who voted for McCain when Obama won voted their racism whatever they told others and maybe even themselves. I think most of the Sanders supporters who might actually sit out the election if Hillary wins are voting their misogyny what ever they might tell others and again, perhaps even themselves. No intelligent liberal Sanders supporter can possibly believe there's no difference between Hillary and Trump, or Cruz, or any other republican. So if they don't vote for Hillary if she wins the nomination they're either stupid or a misogynist.

    Someone is getting to be a quick draw with that misogyny slander. Anyone wonder who it is?  Well his picture is in Ocean Kats mirror.  Good catch, OK, you see Misogyny sneaking around everywhere, even where other folks only see different opinions. What a guy. 

    Following is some bonus material I ran across today searching for that post with the picture of Hillary.

    Here is a dagblog featuring a pictures of a couple of Republicans. Most comments are in good fun, well the ones I read anyway. There is a bit of push-back at the nature of the humor but no mean spirited outrage apparent any.  Towards the bottom is what I said. Michael M and Tmac both responded. Take a look.

    Then there is this, another fun picture that posted at dag without causing any casualties or hurt feelings.  This woman was fair game for many reasons but I bet the picture pissed off lots of folks who were Republicans. I bet some of them would have called every one of us misogynists. 

    And finally, your hero.


    I for one called out misogyny against Palin or Fiorina, even while disliking them. Trumps looks? Also juvenile, but even ugly men can be elected. Criticism of Hillary doesn't s3et me off, its long conspiracy's lists. Plus Russia/Putin as noble antiimperialist US saviors.

    Grab your files and start sharpening those canines, I am about to post a link to the news section. 

    You had to go back to 2009 and 2011 to find those pics? Shows how far from the norm you are here. I wasn't even here then. I also was totally off line for a couple of years while I got solar power and satellite internet. I have also stopped reading blogs here or articles anywhere about Trump. There's nothing more to be learned about him and I really don't have the time to waste.

    As for the last time I called out your misogyny rediscussing it in this blog without the previous comments is an exercise in futility. But I do remember you had a similar reaction. No discussion and a long stream of insults. I suppose you think insults are convincing arguments or that I care enough to be scared away. That's a foolish assumption.

    Of course you disagree with me. You've made some convincing arguments that I'm wrong. First you made a "sexual play" joke. How could the statement about wrestling be sexist if one can make it into a joke about sex and laugh at it. Then you insulted me. A long list of insults always proves someone wrong. And you ignored barefoot when she called you out too. If an accusation of sexism is ignored it is de facto untrue. So good job LuLu

    Whether I'm right or wrong about the sexism its clear you have a very real anger management problem. Before you work on your sexism you should work on that.

    Yeah, I am out of the norm, I agree. Abnormal. Well, in this world I might, on my better days, hold that as a point of pride. You are right about one thing, though. I do have an anger problem. I have been working on it for about 45 years now. It has been a rolIercoaster ride for sure. Sometimes I get  some very strong encouragement to control my anger better. I have the scars to prove it. My anger is real, and it sometimes burns. I do not need your remote juvenile analysis to point it out or your crap comments to know it can be set off. It is in a very mild state when I tell you to go fuck yourself. I am getting old. I haven't had the crap kicked out of me for about ten years now. I haven't kicked the crap out of anyone else for a lot longer than that. I take a high dose of cumadin now. If I got socked in the nose I might bleed to death. Like I have said a couple times recently, I am on a personal quest to be more diplomatic here at dag. I consider it good practice for going out in public. You might consider writing up a few of your helpful hints for my self-improvement and taping them to the wall in your shiter where you can see them when you stand up with a somewhat clearer head. It just might be that you haven't reached the zenith of enlightenment either. 

     I haven't ignored barefooted, I just haven't answered her yet. I have given a fair amount of thought on how to answer her. I have a comment to her that was written before the one you are responding to but I am still uncomfortable with all this. I am uncomfortable partly because I think responding to your type of attack, especially with an explanation, gives it some credence. I am also not comfortable because while I have long been convinced that the world is chock full of dumbfucks with dumbfuck ideas. I know I don't have many, if any, answers. I am acutely aware of how I have often been a dumbfuck. I wish I could be as confident as you and just say how it all is with no doubt. Not that I never did so but I did get a hint a long time ago about growing up. Like a kid just a bit older than me said, " I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. 

    I don't want to be your enemy Kat, I could happily talk to you and get a lot from it, I know that, I just don't want to be the target of your simple minded bullshit conclusions that you throw out among other comments where you brag about not caring what anybody thinks as if that elevates your stature and gives extra weight to your deep insights. We aint none of us smart enough to know it all but even though I know that, I feel secure in the thought that I have learned a few things and I hope I can still learn a few more. Its a big world, Kat. There is room enough for you and me. 

    I do not need your remote juvenile analysis to point it out or your crap comments to know it can be set off.

    I don't give a fuck what you need or what you want. If you're going to direct it at me I'm going to point out just how low you've sunk. Don't bother calling me juvenile when you exhibit the most juvenile behavior of anyone here. You act like you're some special case. It's not uncommon for people here to point out what they see as racist, sexist, misogynistic, antisemitic, islamaphobic etc. comments. Everybody else here can handle it without acting out in rage like a three year old baby. You might as well grow the fuck up dude because that's not going to change, not me and not the other people here.

    I don't get this enemy/friend talk. I've chatted with people in Arivaca a dozen times and I still barely consider them acquaintances. You can talk with me happily or talk with my unhappily or ignore me. I don't give  a shit. I'm just going to say the things I think need saying. You can call it "simple minded bullshit" since it seems you think that's a convincing argument. I don't care. That's not bragging. That's just telling you where I'm coming from. Some may think that's a good thing, others might think it makes me cold, unfeeling, discourteous. This is just what you get. You can learn to deal with it or ignore me.

    Once again dude, even wattree was able to deal with it like a adult when ramona and others accused him of misogyny or when several people here accused him of antisemitism. So isn't it time you grew up?

    Now really I'm done dealing with and discussing your childish behavior. You can take the last word if you want it.


    You can now, with reference to this comment  make an honest charge against me. Plagiarism. But, I only twisted your words a little bit after I copied one of your responses to me.

    Your hyperbolic and emotional reaction just convinces me more that you have some issues you're in denial with. Men our age grew up in a very different culture and need to read, think, and re-examine over and over again to purge beliefs from that sexist, racist, and homophobic past. It's clear you haven't bothered to do that work at least as far as sexism in concerned.


     Actually, I lied, I didn't change a word.


    Thanks, Peter.

    Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me,

    Other times I can barely see.

    Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it's been.

    Unfortunately your last comment reinforced that diversion.
    Peter plays with words; which sometimes means missing his point within his propaganda.

    Another example of Ms. Johnstone's opinion/work.

    Thanks, barefooted. Much of the message in "Queen of Chaos" is how consent for war is manufactured with misleading labeling, something I have harped on since I began posting at the Cafe and then here at Dag, and so naturally the message resonated with me. The main question is whether her facts are substantially correct and her reasoning sound. I give her credence on both. 

    Yeah, Ms. Johnstone is a piece of work.

    From Balkan atrocities, "U.N. officials cite the example of the predominantly Serb Banja Luka region, whic h was home to 356,000 Muslims and 180,000 Croats before 1991. Today only 50,000 Muslims and 27,000 Croats remain. Their homes and neighborhoods have been taken over by an estimated 250,000 Serbs brought in from Muslim-controlled areas."

    The Serbs of course claim all the people killed at Srebrenica were military-age males - and distributing the bodies over a large area makes it hard to rebut, except that they have testimony of people with intent to wipe out the Muslims, with the fairly successful results as listed above, which is how they got convictions. The mass rapes of course are part of the equation. But in Ms. Johnstone, it's all unknowable, except that BIll Clinton is to blame because Obama helped France, Britain & Italy overthrow Qaddafi - that Clinton was supporting Islamists & overthrowing secular leaders, even though he certainly didn't overthrow Hussein or try very hard to do so, the leader of Turkey at the time was secular, we were friends with Mubarak of Egypt who was secular, etc., etc. Somehow our efforts to support Albanians and Chechnyans are only some sordid scheme to bring on hardcore Islam. Oh well, another day, another conspiracy writer.

    OK, here is a thing. I gave about $600. to the first Obama campaign, partly through the DNC. About a year into his first administration I changed my registration to “Independent” along with deciding that I would still support politics I believed in but probably never give any more money to any politician or to the Democratic Party.

    My new direction/decision was to donate $50 a month to something, anything, be it a person, or cause, or news site, or whatever, that I felt deserving or that I thought was doing good by my lights and so deserved support. No big deal, but with that in mind I am offering to buy up to five digital versions of “Queen of Chaos”, one each to anyone here at Dag who would like, or even just be willing, to read it. I’d like to get some feedback here at Dag about it but that is not anything I would demand and neither would I identify who took me up on my offer if they so wished. Accepting this offer would require sending me an email address , I guess through Dag would be best, for delivery which I would delete as soon as the delivery was confirmed.

     I really do hope to get five requests but if I get more I reserve the right to pick who I would most like to actually read the book. That group would likely include Hillary’s strongest, most vocal supporters. My mini-campaign is obviously not about getting a Republican elected. I’ll leave this offer open until close to the election if acceptance has not reached five by then. Cheers.

    Here is how to contact me if the following cypher can be deciphered. [Spellcheck points out that odd change of the spelling of “cypher” in the word  “decipher” I hope that I someday become halfway fluent in English] I am:   moto blank man   [ make those three words one word, no spaces, but leave out the word  “blank”] followed by 800 and then c and then c. All with no spaces, followed by   @gmail dot     you know the rest.

    I don’t know if this method of sending email addresses by public email really does defeat spambots or other ways of program harvesting of emails but I have seen it employed and it’s probably worth doing.  If someone knows a better way, please pass it on. 

    Thanks,  It should make for a better debate. 

    I guess I should have been on this thread sooner. ToS warning to ocean-kat and lulu.

    Ftr, it is fine to debate whether a book or an author is misogynist. It is not ok to publicly accuse another blogger of misogyny (or racism or homophobia or whatever). Public shaming does not work in the blogosphere, and it nurtures animosities that undermine civil discussion. If you feel that a post or comment is sexist or violates the ToS, please communicate your concern privately with a moderator, and we will deal with it.

    Thank you.

    You're giving me a tos warning just because I posted, "If you don't want me to respond personally to your misogyny then don't bring it here in such a personal way.  Because I'm always going to defend a woman who is being attacked unfairly." And then said, "And you still don't get what a raging misogynist you are."


    Oh wait, Ramona posted that. NM.

    And I was right there with her, Ocean. Speaking only for myself, of course, I take Michael's point and will try to elevate myself above the (sometimes overwhelming) desire to punch down.

    Over the years overt racism, sexism etc. have diminished greatly. Among liberals there's an acute sensitivity to more subtle forms and an increased willingness to call it out. Some have argued that we are over sensitive. It's a debate that's been raging for some years with regularity on all left leaning sites as well as been demagogued by the right with their usual insanity.

    Michael can run this site anyway he wants. That he has the power is undeniable but I personally would also argue he has the right. If he truly wants to rein in liberal sensitivity to racism, sexism, etc. and their tendency to call it out I think he's set himself an impossible task. I, you, Ramona are not the only one's here to speak up against what we see as offensive speech. I doubt that liberals here, or anywhere, will ignore racist, sexist etc speech simply because it doesn't rise to the level of using the N-word for blacks or the B/C-words for women. Attempting to sort out the more subtle forms of offensive speech from on high is a time consuming fool's errand.

    If he seriously wants to take that task on rather than let it be sorted out in discussion, albeit heated discussion,  it's his right and his choice. Good luck with that.

    If he truly wants to rein in liberal sensitivity to racism, sexism, etc. and their tendency to call it out I think he's set himself an impossible task. I, you, Ramona are not the only one's here to speak up against what we see as offensive speech.
    While I agree mostly with your larger point as I interpret it, I reject the idea that Michael is in any way attempting to "rein in liberal sensitivity" to anything.

    When it comes to Dag, his job is bigger than ours. What he's asking of us is not only fair, but high minded - I kinda appreciate that in the world of blogging. Moreover, he lets more slide than he condemns ... maybe something else to argue about? ;-)

    I don't think what he's asking is fair or high minded. I think calling out offensive speech, even subtlely racist, sexist etc speech, is important and valuable. But I also don't think he truly wants to rein in liberal sensitivity to racism, sexism, etc. and their tendency to call it out.

    Nothing will change. When rmrd called me an Islamaphobe there was no tos warning. Because I simply said I'm not an Islamophobe and here's why. We had a civil discussion. Maybe some readers came away saying Kat really isn't an Islamophobe. Could be others came away saying damn, he really is an islamophobe. I could have ranted at rmrd, called him names, and told him to go fuck himself. Michael would likely have given a warning to both of us.

    When you and Ramona called out wattree it was a bit more heated. But in the end it was a discussion. Readers in the end got to decide who was right.

    LuLu had many opportunities to explain why the statements I thought sexist were not sexist. A debate could have taken place. But he never even attempted that. Instead he went off on angry curse filled insult filled rants both times I brought up what I saw as misogyny.

    People will continue to call out racist, sexist, antisemitic ect. speech here. As they have for years. Michael will mostly ignore it as he has been doing for years. If someone is unable to handle debate and sinks to insulting rants instead of rational dialog Michael will blame both parties. It's not fair and since I believe he's wrong I'll just ignore the warning.

    Sorry Michael, that's my analysis. Your site, you run it the way you want. It's your right to do what you want with your site. You even have the right to ban me if you want.


    OK, I composed this before I saw this remark. It was intended to reply to Barefooted.


    Barefooted, [and OK] I had a long reply composed the other night but the way things went I’m starting over. I have decided I am largely responsible for this this turning into a fight. I had a chance to explain myself  early on but I made two mistakes. At least. At the beginning the first one was conflating PP’s and OK’s questions. When I answered with that intended joke I thought I was responding to PP. I see how it was so easy to confuse what I meant, not that getting it right would have made it funny, but I don’t think it would have disgusted you. I wasn’t referring to wrestling as meaning actual wrestling in any organized sanctioned way that included women and getting off on it sexually because they were women. That would make your reaction fair, maybe mild. In the realm of contact sports wrestling  must be near the top, I’d say second only to what I metaphorically meant by it.  I don’t know what else to call it now but “The Joke”, but in the joke “wrestling” was the metaphor for sex play. They were one in the same.

    “And I need to add that calling "wrestling" with a woman "sexual play" is not only misogynistic, …”

    So change the syntax and it becomes:     And I need to add that calling sexual play wrestling is … …  [silly?]

    My second mistake was that before I made a decent explanation I got mad at OK. Whether justified in any degree because of previous squabbles OK and I had on the same issue is not the point, and is something I would like to become a thing we can leave in the past, but regardless, it might not have gone the way it did if I had kept my cool.

    I am still interested in the blog topic. To whatever extent misogyny, sexism, etc, is part of it I will try to do a better job of representing Ms. Johnstone’s book and myself. I am quite sure she wasn’t using sexist tactics to make her case I know I don't intend to.

    As for the tos, I think we both had it coming just to reign in squabble.

    Lulu, I appreciate what you've written here. Truly.

    I wasn't disgusted by the idea of wrestling between two people who have the same thing in mind; I've enjoyed it myself. I was highly disturbed because of the language used, without any qualifying context - that really matters when men often claim "just wrestling and playing around" as a defense for something else. Something darker. I've seen and heard it in action, though thankfully not regarding me.

    I know that's not you. I needed to call out the frivolity in your remarks because it has to be said - even when it's expressed in a mostly innocent manner. Perhaps especially because it too often is.


    Plus I think the TOS came out as the interplay had become a barbed "did too"/"did not"/"did too"/"did not" and Michael had to break the boxers up & send them to their corners somehow, whether his reasoning is exact or historically consistent, yadda yadda - the record had a skip in it, he bounced the needle.

    My inclination was to ignore this comment as I didn't want to relitigate this with you. But since you have made some concessions not to reply might have seemed as though I was holding a grudge. For me this squabble was already reigned in when I said, I'm done you can take the last word. Not just the squabble but at that moment for me, it was in the past. From your comment about not wanting to be "enemies" this whole thing seems to be more important to you than me. I don't think in those terms that way so I don't know how else to interpret it.  I assure you I am not holding onto any emotional attachment over this fight.

    As the site owner/administrator/moderator, how would you handle individual spats differently? With multiple people on multiple threads arguing multiple issues daily while actually having a life outside of it?

    As I said, I agree with you on specific points; pinpointing specific arguments within a larger sphere is far more difficult. Yes, sometimes his (and others) ToS warnings are broader than those of us involved might prefer, but it's necessary to remember that the message is meant for a larger audience.

    I'm feeling generous ... forgive me in advance when I inevitably break the aforementioned warnings.

    Ocean-kat, Ramona and I have discussed the comment you quoted offline. I recognize that it's inconsistent with our policy.

    To your critique of the policy, we're certainly not trying to reduce liberal sensitivity, and it is perfectly fine to call out someone who is not a blogger here. The goal of the policy is simply to avoid the grudge matches and flame wars that ruined TPM Cafe (imo). You're right that it's possible, in principle, to have a civil debate about whether someone's comment is racist or what-have-you, but it very rarely happens. No one likes to be called a bigot, they generally retaliate hard. Flame war ensues.

    So we have a simple policy, no personal attacks. It's not a perfect policy, but it has helped dag avoid the interminable pillow fights that you see on other blogs. It also helps the moderators avoid internal disagreement and inconsistency, which used to be a bigger problem when Articleman was here, and I wasn't the only one actively moderating.

    As for our enforcement of the policy, I don't ignore the violations. I simply don't see them. As I've written many times, I do not read every comment on this site. Like anyone, I follow the discussions that interest me, time permitting. As a result, comments that violate the policy get through without my even knowing. I usually only notice when a big fight breaks out, which invariably means that more than one person has violated the policy, so more than person gets a ToS warning.

    Now if it doesn't bother you when someone calls you an islamophobe, and you are willing to respond civilly, go right ahead. It's not a huge deal to me if a violation goes unpunished if it doesn't cause animosity. But if it does bother you, please send me an email rather than hitting back. Then I will see the comment and can enforce the policy.

    So in summary, the policy is not about any principle of justice or fairness. It is designed only to prevent dagblog from becoming a place where people sit around calling each other names and criticizing one another's bad behavior, and I enforce it to the extent that I am able.

    Ocean-kat, you're right.  I should not have said what I said to Wattree.  I let my fury get the best of me and I was wrong.  It's doubly bad because I'm a moderator here at dag, so in the future I will try my best to rise above it all.  I probably should have given myself a TOS, so consider this the response to the overlooked TOS.  


    But of course that's not what I was saying nor was it the point I wanted to make. I think my point is generally summed up in the post above, "Attempting to sort out the more subtle forms of offensive speech from on high is a time consuming fool's errand."

    It's made to seem as though I'm unique in that I don't mind being called an islamophobe. Of course I do mind but hurt feelings are irrrelevant. And I'm not unique. 90% of the time 90% of the people react just as I do. As it should be. As it must be for honest civil discourse. There are numerous examples.

    When people called out what some thought was a racist picture of West or Smiley (?) with a bone in his mouth there was a long discussion at times heated to sort it out. I was not a part of that discussion so it's not about me. Others here were saying what I believed better than I could. There was no tos warning.

    When several called out the theory that Goodwin's law was created by the jews there was a long and heated discussion. I was only a bit player in that since again, others made the  point better than I. No tos warning.

    As it should be. As it must be. People will not let what they see as offensive speech pass by unchallenged and that's a welcome change form the past when people would laugh along to get along. Submitting every incident of subtle racism, sexism, etc. for adjudication on high is unworkable for both the participants and the moderators. Tell yourselves that's what you want or that's what you're doing if you need to. But the reality is the vast majority of the time it's argued about and sorted out in discussion. The only time the tos is invoked is if one party is not capable of controlling their temper and engaging in rational debate. Then both sides of the discussion are deemed a tos violation.



    Kat, objecting to what someone writer does not violate the ToS. Disparaging the blogger does. So an argument about whether a picture is racist is fine. An argument whether the person who posted it is a closet racist is not.

    That can be a thin line to tread, and I've treaded it enough to know. As moderator, I've often been in the position of trying to explain to someone why what they said is offensive without violating my own ToS. I've also seen other bloggers here handle these issues delicately, laboring to explain what makes the comment offensive without expressing hostility or condescension toward the person who made it. Not only does this approach cohere with the ToS, it's also a much more effective strategy for persuasion.

    Because it's such a thin line, I don't have a hair trigger. I try to avoid moderating when there is ambiguity. In this case, however, there was no ambiguity. In three successive comments, you repeatedly accused a blogger of misogyny in quite personal terms. That goes well beyond expressing offense at what he wrote. It makes the blogger the topic rather than the material.

    It's not just racism and sexism, btw. Whenever people start writing about who is an asshole or who is an idiot or who doesn't listen, we get into that space of arguing about bloggers rather than ideas. People start to side with those they like, gang up on those they don't, and retaliate when their buddies get trashed. This dispute between you and Lulu was mano-a-mano. At TPM, it would have been a gang fight, endlessly repeated in thread after thread. It took a lot of work to prevent that kind of factionalism from gaining a foothold at dag, and not everyone has been cool with it, but to me, it's one of dagblog's greatest attributes.

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