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The Daily Kos group blog Walking on Eggshells is an experimental laboratory for learning to bear witness without judgment, blame or shame. Each diary will serve as an experimental Listening space to explore dimensions of American culture that influence what we think we say and what we think we hear in blog posts and comment threads.

"Sometimes one has to say exactly how one feels and it is also sometimes necessary for those hearing these sentiments just to listen for a while and take note." - LaFeminista
Broken eggs with writing on eggshell, Fed up of walking on eggshells.
There is a poll in every diary we published this week. We'll keep each of the polls open for a full seven days before compiling the results. In her reply diary serindipityisabitch makes some good arguments. I highly recommend you participate in the comments there.

Is anybody asking the right questions?

If yes, would you tell us who and what they are?
If no, what should we be asking?

Poll

Is anybody asking the right questions?

13%4 votes
36%11 votes
13%4 votes
30%9 votes
6%2 votes

| 30 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

We all tend to judge our own speech placing high priority on our own intentions. In contrast it's so easy to judge others' speech placing higher priority on the outcome, however we perceive it. What if we could set aside that judgment and simply become  more mindful of the violence in our own vernacular. I'm inviting you to join me as we pay attention to the way our own words shift the emotional tone. How much priority do we place on being right? Isn't it more satisfying to be effective?

The difference, many times, can be found in the way our vernacular can shift the emotional tone.

This diary is dedicated to rexymeteorite and joedemocrat for their passion, their creativity, their courage and the high hopes we shared.

Poll

Common terms in modern vernacular like STFU and RTFD are...

9%5 votes
9%5 votes
22%12 votes
1%1 votes
11%6 votes
13%7 votes
1%1 votes
1%1 votes
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11%6 votes

| 53 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

In the Daily Kos Fight Threads™ how do you feel when things get out of hand? When it's degenerating into a a pie fight with "the other side" (however you define it)? If you stayed out of Fight Threads™ altogether because you were certain it was a waste of times... I congratulate you for practicing healthy avoidance, for keeping the big picture in sight and knowing your own limits. Sometimes You Have to Stop Reading the Comments.  

Hand image for Walking on Eggshells? Introduction - How It Happens - Hand_3.jpg
Stop. Tune in. What's really going on?
No, not the other guy. What's going on with you?

If you were part of the virtual brawl in recent weeks this message is for you. If you were there, on the sidelines, and watched a fragile decorum destroyed in front of your eyes, this message is for you too.

No one wins in a barroom brawl. Everyone gets hurt.

Afterward the place is wrecked and there is nowhere to go for a beer.



This Listening space is brought to you by Walking on Eggshells.

Poll

Were you part of a recent virtual barroom brawl? What role did you play?

4%3 votes
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20%14 votes
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| 69 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

In a sketch on Euphemisms, George Carlin mocks the way that language has changed, “squeezing all the humanity” out of a term that needs to describe a state of extreme pain and distress. “Shell shock” became “battle fatigue” became “Operational exhaustion” became Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


Join me below the fold for a discourse on vernacular, euphemisms and triggers.

Poll

Have you ever deliberately modulated your state of anxiety or distress simply by slowing down your breathing? By deliberately lengthening your exhale?

7%2 votes
3%1 votes
46%12 votes
11%3 votes
0%0 votes
11%3 votes
3%1 votes
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| 26 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading
"When I feel that I have to walk on eggshells in a diary it is a sign something is wrong. Sometimes one has to say exactly how one feels and it is also sometimes necessary for those hearing these sentiments just to listen for a while and take note." - LaFeminista
Hand image for Walking on Eggshells? Introduction - How It Happens - Hand_3.jpg
Stop. Tune in. What's really going on? No, not the other guy. What's going on with you?


Tune in below the fold
Poll

Have you felt uneasy, startled or triggered by something you read recently?

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8%5 votes
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| 61 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

The seed for this diary mini-series found its fertile ground after a few of us read a diary that included this elegant statement of the problem. We've decided to call this our Listening series. This is the third session. Conversations in Session 1 and Session 2 are ongoing.

"When I feel that I have to walk on eggshells in a diary it is a sign something is wrong. Sometimes one has to say exactly how one feels and it is also sometimes necessary for those hearing these sentiments just to listen for a while and take note." - LaFeminista

Sometimes You Have to Stop Reading the Comments
Hand image for Walking on Eggshells? Introduction - How It Happens - Hand_3.jpg
Stop. Tune in. What's really going on? No, not the other guy. What's going on with you?

LaFeminista was talking about the misogyny on display in online newspaper comment threads, but some have stayed out of comment threads here at Daily Kos because what they read there has alarmed them or made them feel every uncomfortable. Some people felt shut out of the conversation entirely as they lurked, and then left. Some people seemed to shout past each other, while others seemed to uprate insults posted by their friends while hide rating "the other side." Rebuttal diaries lead to meta diaries lead to meta meta diaries. And like a real world bar room brawl otherwise rational people joined in throwing punches and swinging chairs, without knowing how the fight even started.

No one wins in a barroom brawl. Everyone gets hurt.

Afterward the place is wrecked and there is nowhere to go for a beer.

If you feel disappointed, disturbed or pissed off about what has happened at Daily Kos since the Isle Vista shooting, you are not alone. A few of us are very concerned and have started brainstorming some ideas. Send a Kosmail to Walking on Eggshells, with a question, a suggestion, or your idea of where we should go from here.

The purpose of this diary is to invite readers to check-in with themselves, just to notice how they are feeling and for the rest of us to simply practice respect and kindness as we bear witness to what they report, without judging, blaming or shaming. Please don't bring the fights here. We're calling this our Listening series.

Stop. Tune in. Bear witness. What's really going on with you?

Poll

Since the Isle Vista shooting how do you feel about what has been happening at Daily Kos? If you're experiencing more than one negative emotion choose what is most puzzling to you. Or just tell us in the comments.

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| 19 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 11:06 AM PDT

"Us and Them" (Updated)

by LilithGardener

The seed for a conversation found its fertile ground after a few of us read a diary that included an elegant statement of the problem.

"When I feel that I have to walk on eggshells in a diary it is a sign something is wrong. Sometimes one has to say exactly how one feels and it is also sometimes necessary for those hearing these sentiments just to listen for a while and take note." - LaFeminista
That quote from LaFeminista inspired my music-video diary, Relax, I need some information please, which invited people to pause and notice how we all are feeling.  Many came and bravely posted and voted in the poll. One of the more puzzling attitudes in the diary, and found elsewhere at Daily Kos is the many "us vs them" dichotomies. I find it especially puzzling among political allies. It may sound strange and some may think I'm clueless to say that. [And they're entitled to their judgments, based upon their own relative cluelessness. I've been aware of the arbitrariness of us vs them almost my whole life because I was lucky enough to have parents who taught me to question it].

Except for the sports world, I just don't see people in such stark binary terms. I think it's learned and reinforced in American culture. But I don't see why it should be inevitable. I just wasn't raised to see people that way, so it's puzzling why some people think it's inevitable to do that.

Perhaps we could continue the conversation and reflect on this. The music soothes and suits my pensive mood.

Pink Floyd - "Us And Them



LINK to Music Video - Pink Floyd Us and Them

Pink Floyd "Us And Them" from 1973 album "The Dark Side Of The Moon"

There's more below the fold.

Poll

Since the Isle Vista shooting how do you feel about what has been happening at Daily Kos? If you're experiencing more than one of these negative emotions choose what is most puzzling to you? Or just tell us in the comments.

0%0 votes
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6%3 votes
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| 46 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

The seed for this diary found its fertile ground after a few of us read a diary that included this elegant statement of the problem.

"When I feel that I have to walk on eggshells in a diary it is a sign something is wrong. Sometimes one has to say exactly how one feels and it is also sometimes necessary for those hearing these sentiments just to listen for awhile and take note." - LaFeminista

David Gilmour & David Bowie - Comfortably Numb


    LINK to Music Video - David Gilmour & David Bowie - Comfortably Numb
Remember that night - Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2007)


Comfortably Numb

by David Gilmour and Roger Waters

    Hello? Is there anybody in there?
    Just nod if you can hear me
    Is there anyone at home?

    Come on, now I hear you're feeling down
    Well I can ease your pain
    Get you on your feet again
    Relax I'll need some information first
    Just the basic facts
    Can you show me where it hurts?

    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
    You are the only coming through in waves
    Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying

    When I was a child I had a fever
    My hands felt just like two balloons
    Now I've got that feeling once again
    I can't explain you would not understand
    This is not how I am
    I have become comfortably numb

    I have become comfortably numb

    Okay Just a little pinprick
    There'll be no more
    But you may feel a little sick
    Can you stand up?
    I do believe it's working good
    That'll keep you going through the show
    Come on it's time to go

    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
    You are the only coming through in waves
    Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying

    When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
    Out of the corner of my eye
    I turned to look but it was gone
    I cannot put my finger on it now
    The child is grown the dream is gone

    I have become comfortably numb

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

LaFeminista was talking about the misogyny on display in online newspaper comment threads, but some have stayed out of comment threads here at Daily Kos because what they read there has alarmed them or made them feel every uncomfortable. Some people felt shut out of the conversation entirely as they lurked, and then left. Some people seemed to shout past each other, while others seemed to uprate insults posted by their friends while hide rating "the other side." Rebuttal diaries lead to meta diaries lead to meta meta diaries. And like a real world bar room brawl otherwise rational people joined in throwing punches and swinging chairs, without knowing how the fight even started.

No one wins in a bar room brawl. Everyone gets hurt.

Afterward the place is wrecked and there is nowhere to go for a beer.

If you feel disappointed, disturbed or pissed off about what has happened at Daily Kos since the Isle Vista shooting, you are not alone. A few of us are very concerned and have started brainstorming some ideas.

Send a Kosmail to Walking on Eggshells, with a question, a suggestion, or your idea of where we should go from here.

Poll

Since the Isle Vista shooting how do you feel about what has been happening at Daily Kos? If you're experiencing more than one of these negative emotions choose one is most puzzling to you?

2%3 votes
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16%25 votes
8%12 votes
1%2 votes
6%9 votes
5%8 votes
7%11 votes
0%1 votes
0%1 votes
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16%24 votes

| 148 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Each of the terms in the title are words in the modern lexicon of dialogue. They mean something in context that is different than the literal meaning of the words. They are short-hand forms of speech used by many people, especially young people, when they are having intimate conversations with people they know well. This diary is a defense of modern vernacular and why we use it with people we care about.

Two diaries included STFU! in their titles this week. The second was a rebuttal of the first. The power of the vernacular term STFU! is apparent in the way both diaries express an urgent desire for more authentic connection.

Dear Men, STFU!

The first diary is ironic because in choosing a provocative title, the author deliberately invited attacks on himself and his desire to discuss male complicity in sexual violence. That is a man, doing some very heavy lifting, in terrain where angels fear to tread. It is an urgent call to men to practice being present, as a witness, to embrace the unspoken along with the spoken as women tell their personal stories.

STFU! Really?

The second diary is also ironic because the author's admissions include an implicit willingness to be vulnerable. He may be willing to hear the direct experience of another human being but he's not sure because vernacular like STFU! shuts him down. For him, and many others who recommended the diary, STFU! is a trigger that impedes their ability to engage. It's a trigger that takes them out of the present and shifts their internal focus to ugly memories of the past, when someone in authority made them sit there and be quiet while being lectured. It might recall to mind the relative helplessness of a child or a teen verbally battered by a parent or teacher who uses violence in their words and demeanor to berate and humiliate them. Those wounds are on the inside. Harsh words don't leave a bruise on the body, but they can leave a mark on the soul.

For the second author, STFU in the title was so repulsive, he didn't even bother to R-T-F-D. Yet, he wrote a compelling rebuttal. Both authors received hundreds of recommends and vigorous participation in the comment threads.

This diary is dedicated to Empty Vessel and gjohnsit.

Poll

Have you ever deliberately modulated your state of anxiety or distress simply by slowing down your breathing? By deliberately lengthening your exhale?

1%1 votes
1%1 votes
45%42 votes
17%16 votes
14%13 votes
8%8 votes
5%5 votes
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| 92 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Sat May 24, 2014 at 05:11 PM PDT

Put Vets Ahead of Jets! UPDATED

by LilithGardener

This is a call to action diary. It is dedicated to HoundDog.

The Pentagon Budget - 22 Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day

HoundDog has chased down an important story this weekend, about the pentagon budget and Republican's shameful failure to adequately fund the Veterans Administration over the past 13 years, here, and here. The House voted this week to continue spending on programs the Pentagon wants to cut, including obsolete jets. Their vote shows that, even in the age of austerity we can afford to increase VA spending.

It's a story that each and every one of use can use this election cycle. There are many provider vacancies in the Veterans Healthcare system all across the country. There are waiting lists of Veterans who need healthcare, especially mental health care. People have died while they waited for their veterans disability claim to be processed. We have an epidemic of suicide among active duty military and military veterans. Their method of choice is a firearm.

  • There are veterans awaiting care in every district.
  • Any investment in Veterans healthcare is an investment across the country.
  • Fund Vets Instead of Old [New] Jets!
  • The GOP just proved we CAN afford it!

Becoming an activist

Does anyone know you're mad about this? Someone needs to know you're mad!

If you don't already know the contact info, for your political leaders, please find rebel ga's excellent links below. Whatever matters to you, whatever gets under your skin, whatever has pleased you the most, use it as motivation to program your representative's phone numbers and email into your address books.

Many of you are old hands at activism. When was the first time in your life when you were mad enough (or glad enough) to contact someone in charge about a political or policy issue?

  • What took you over the boundary from concern to action?
  • Have you ever crossed over from joy and celebration to actively thanking your representative for their policy position or their vote?
  • What prompted you to tell a political candidate what they need to do to win your support?

I was reminded of this again recently; if I don't stand up and articulate my position, there are many others all to eager to assert that they represent my views. There are too many others very willing to claim that when they speak about constitutional rights, that they speak for me. No matter what you care about most, none of us can afford to remain on the sidelines as extremists dominate the news cycle.



UPDATE 8:20 PM PT: Comments from buddabelly and DaNang65 have persuaded me that some of the old jets should be kept, and it's the F-35 that should be curtailed. So the old title, Put Vets Ahead of Old Jets, has been changed to, Put Vets Ahead of New Jets!, and simplified to Put Vets Ahead of Jets! (h/t comment by WakeUpNew).






UPDATE Sun May 25, 2014 at  5:59 AM PT:
More background on the VA budget shortfall and Congress blocking effective change.

Here are a few diaries I found using this search string:

Former Secretary Robert Gates says that Congress blocks change at the VA because they micromanage it. It takes an Act of Congress to change any of their programs or services.

Why It's So Difficult To Treat Our Vets The Way They Deserve? - Jan 17 (Jon Stewart interviews forme DOD Secretary Robert Gates)

The REAL Scandal At The Veterans Administration - May 15

Veterans Administration - "The Bush White House was so concerned..." - May 20

President Obama's Remarks on Veterans Health Care - May 21

I really hope people pick up on this story with HoundDog and jmstarto. I'm posting these links in all three of HoundDog's recent diaries. Interested readers might want to contact Kosmail jmstaro; he's been covering the VA funding and oversight problems for a long time.



This collection is a repost of Rebel Ga's directory of links for new readers and seasoned Kossacks, her NewYear's Gift to Daily Kos.
November 4th 2014

United States Senate elections, 2014 Elections will be held for all 435 seats, representing the 50 US States. Elections will also be held for the non-voting delegates from the District of Columbia and four of the five US territories.

2014 House Elections Interactive Map

United States Senate elections, 2014 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate being contested in regular elections whose winners will serve six-year terms from January 3 2015 to January 3 2021. Additionally, special elections may be held to fill vacancies that occur during the 113th United States Congress.

2014 Senate Election Interactive Map

US Gubernatorial Elections 2014 Thirty-six states and three territories concurrent with other elections during the United States General Election of 2014.

The first time I registered to vote in '71. I couldn't vote because I didn't know how to find my polling place.

So I'm sharing voting info with everyone. I think it would be especially helpful for first time voters.

Vote And Encourage Others To Vote; Democratic, Of Course.

USA.gov Registering to Vote and Voting Frequently Asked Questions ie Absentee Voting, Questions for Uniformed Services/Family Members, Questions for Overseas Citizens and many more.

Polling Place Finder/Voting Info Polls Open 6am till 8pm League Of Women Voters

Verify Your Voter Registration Status. Rock the Vote's mission is to engage and build political power for young people in our country. Frequently Asked Voting Questions

New Jersey Voting Information NJ Division Of Elections

♥Happy New Year Everyone♥
Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga
"Be The Change You Want To See In The World!" Gandhi

by rebel ga on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 12:40:18 PM PST

Poll

When was the last time you contacted your elected leaders? Or candidates seeking your vote?. (By rep I mean anyone holding public office, elected or appointed).

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| 12 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Over the past few days a new Kossack posted two diaries using genuine concerns about elections and gun safety as cover to push false memes and promote the NRA, here and here.

We can use these kinds of diaries as opposition research. Why? Because the arguments are persuasive to some voters in red states, and may even be persuasive to some in blue districts too. That's why we should take time to understand his claims.

We need to marshal facts, and the links that support them. Not so that we can all post the same material, but so that we can draw from each other as we build an arsenal of facts to rebut false memes. To find our blind spots, the gaps in our own thinking, we must hold our best ideas up to scrutiny. That's how we find our way to better arguments.

Wayne LaPierre's head embeded in
Wayne LaPierre's Primal Scream
Four Big Holes in TexasBill's Argument

Fact No. 1 - Senate Rules - When a bill can't pass the Senate despite a 54:45 majority vote that's evidence of a broken Congress. With a 9 point margin that vote wasn't even close. It's evidence we need more filibuster reform, which Kos considers Dkos’ most important activism triumph to date, (h/t David Waldman).

Fact No. 2 - Balance of Powers - A functioning US Democracy would have a balance of power between the Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary. We have a situation where 5 votes on the Supreme Court can effectively "edit" the constitution by changing what it means. Full stop. There's not a dagawn thing the Congress and Executive can do about it. In a functioning American Democracy, when the Congress and the Executive branches disagree with a slim SCOTUS majority we can amend the Constitution.

Fact No. 3 - Gerrymandering - The House is GOP controlled because of gerrymandered districts. This is a fact that needs to be brought to bear against the false memes in the gun diaries. See e.g. The Gerrymandered Districts of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Fact No. 4 - State Level Politics - bipartisan support for gun control vs. ALEC controlled legislatures supporting guns everywhere laws. TexasBill reveals his bias by writing off the states that passed gun control laws, as obvious blue state wins. It's a false meme.

a. The NY Safe Act was passed with strong bipartisan support. Many people don't know that the NY state Senate is GOP-controlled, and they passed the bill with a 43-18 majority. Yes, you read that right. The Connecticut legislature passed their 2013 gun reform bill with bipartisan support too. They had been studying their gun laws since 2010 and had already begun the process of updating their gun laws before Sandy Hook happened.

b. Most "guns everywhere' bills are passed by ALEC-controlled state legislatures. We need to drill down on this issue and educate our selves and our readers so we can post facts to counter false memes. ALEC stands for the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization that has thoroughly corrupted law-making processes across the country.

A few strategy ideas below the fold.
Poll

Is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in control of your state legislature?

41%231 votes
17%99 votes
35%198 votes
3%18 votes
1%6 votes

| 552 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading
NEWSWIRE
“The people of this city, acting through their elected representatives, have sought to combat gun violence and promote public safety. The court finds that they have done so in a constitutionally permissible manner,” - U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg for the District of D.C.
Wide-angle interior shot of Union Station in Washington, D.C.. Taken July 17th, 2007, assembled from 20 individual shots stitched together into one pano image. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Union_StationDC.jpg
Union Station, Washington DC

Washington D.C., has arguably the most strict gun laws in the nation. Buying a gun begins with appearing in person to apply for a registration certificate from the Metropolitan Police Department. Photographs and fingerprints are taken. Five hours of safety training is also required, (four hours in class and one hour at the range). And that is just to legally own and carry a gun in one's home for the purpose of self defense. Washington DC neither issues concealed carry permits nor honors concealed carry permits from any state. Open carry is prohibited.

The Washington Post has some details about the registration and training requirements. More details are available in my prior diaries here and here.

Judge upholds D.C.’s gun law

By Ann E. Marimow, for The Washington Post, on May 15, 2014

A federal judge on Thursday upheld the District’s tough gun registration laws, finding that regulations crafted in response to a landmark Supreme Court decision “pass constitutional scrutiny.” [...]

The lawsuit, one of many throughout the country that have challenged gun restrictions, took on the District’s post-2008 regulations that banned large-capacity magazines and assault weapons. The city also imposed stringent registration requirements for handguns and long guns. [...]

Boasberg said Thursday that he was persuaded that the city’s system allows the District to “screen out dangerous or irresponsible people who try to obtain a firearm.”
“Asking gun owners to take a short class and pass a minor test — once — in order to wield deadly weapons fits the District’s interests in public safety and police protection,” he wrote in the 62-page opinion.

...Continue reading Judge upholds D.C.’s gun law

In light of the Court's ruling, Roll Call reports that the District's Delegate to the US House of Representatives, Eleanor Holmes Norton, (D).is calling on GOP politicians to abandon their efforts to strip the DC City Council of their law making authority and overturn the District's gun laws through an Act of Congress.

Please note, I haven't seen the opinion yet and will publish a diary outlining the Court's reasoning as soon as I have time to read it.


Sponsored by the Firearms Law and Policy Group



The Daily Kos Firearms Law and Policy group studies actions for reducing firearm deaths and injuries in a manner that is consistent with the current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment. We also cover the many positive aspects of gun ownership, including hunting, shooting sports, and self-defense.

To see our list of original and republished diaries, go to the Firearms Law and Policy diary list. Click on the ♥ or the word "Follow" next to our group name to add our posts to your stream, and use the link next to the heart to send a message to the group if you have a question or would like to join.

We have adopted Wee Mama's and akadjian's guidance on communicating.  But most important, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Poll

True/Flase - This is good news!

64%34 votes
20%11 votes
13%7 votes
1%1 votes

| 53 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss
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