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I was going to put this in an open thread, but decided to make it a diary instead, as I believe it's important enough to bear repeating.

As with matters of race, or other issues that generate heat, controversy and large difference of opinion, I think what Armando said should be the norm at Daily Kos, and noncompliance disfavored as a point of departure.  His approach:

First, there were some aggressive challenges to certain language used in some of the comments. While the substance of the challenges will be permitted in the group, the MANNER in which the substance of the challenges was presented will not be. If you have questions or concerns about certain rhetoric, you will have to put those to the other person in the most civil and courteous manner possible. No aggressive challenges will be permitted.

Second, when presented with these aggressive challenges, the persons challenged responded in a belligerent and aggressive manner. This too will not be permitted. You can choose not to respond, or, preferably, respond in a civil and courteous manner EVEN IF you were not treated civilly or respectfully. You will leave the moderation to me and/or to other moderators I will choose.

In other words, the burden of civility is on the reply and then again on the recipient.

The main drawback to this place is that discussion too often becomes an exercise of insults, often to the exclusion of diary substance.

To me it means one need not be polite in the substance of what they say, but in the manner in which they say it.  The way I see it, if one attended a seminar where people engaged in similar discussions, where there is disagreement all the time, there would not be any mockery or the like.  One who is disrespectful would quickly acquire disfavor and lose ability to persuade.

Liberals should behave with tolerance, not the opposite, and in a way that fosters, not hinders, communication and learning.  



Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 02:48 PM PDT

Israeli Demonstration tomorrow!

by citizen53

Please note:  Although this was part of another diary I wrote earlier, I believe it is entitled to a space of its own.

Israeli youth via Facebook have called for a demonstration of love and peace tomorrow outside the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv, in response to what took place at the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.

Here is the message:

It is very easy to rise up and be angry after the incident at the Israeli embassy in Egypt; it was a case of extreme violence that has no place and should be condemned. The Egyptian people, especially its younger generation, are in a period of identity crisis, after the coup. They are trying to find their place and vent their frustrations after many years of suffering. At the same time also here we have a generation that wants to live in a a fair and better world that opposes hatred and tyranny and that fights for the basic rights and a deep desire to live a better life in a better world ... It's time we stop hating based on money and religion. We all want a better world, and it will happen only if we do it together! Let's put out a call to the Egyptian people of peace and love, and tell them that we don't want to fight them or hate them. On the contrary, we want to live as good neighbors with love, and together make life in the Middle East and the world better.... Let's show them our real faces, and perhaps open their minds .. Friday, 12:30, show love and support peace at the Egyptian Embassy.

Just like the recent social justice protests in Israel, which illustrated the Israeli democracy at its finest and a spirit of cooperation and equality, we again see how a demonstration can be a positive venture, with an underlying desire for peace and friendly relations that are indispensable for these neighbors to progress and thrive.

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A short diary of juxtaposition.

First, the cynicism:

Palestinian refugees will not become citizens of a new Palestinian state, according to Palestine’s ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah.  

“[E]ven Palestinian refugees who are living in [refugee camps] inside the [Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.”

In other words, people who live in camps in their own state would be barred, by their own leaders, from becoming citizens of that very state!

One could argue that, to Palestinian Arab leaders, Palestinian refugees are not an oppressed group who must be helped, but human weapons in a never ending war against Israel.  Citizenship removes their status as weapons.  It therefore seems the more important issue is not to end the suffering of these people, or achieving independence for that matter, but to destroy Israel.

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Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:06 AM PDT

BBC: Trolling: Who does it and why?

by citizen53

Pretty fed up with this place.  It's hard to say much anything without being accused of something.  Unless, of course, you do it in a safe place among friends.

Anyway, not into having a discussion.  I was reading about a BBC correspondent's encounters with antisemitism in Egypt when I came across this article about trolling, and thought it was newsworthy considering the state of affairs here.

It's offered for anyone that may care.  It has some information that may also be worth consideration, especially if the environment here and elsewhere is subject to improvement.  

Some snippets follow:

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 11:33 AM PDT

Palestinan Disconnects

by citizen53

This is not intended to be a big analysis, if at all.

Yesterday, a poll was released that shows the disconnect between Palestinian leadership and the voice of the people.

Among other things, here are two findings:

Which, in your opinion, is the preferable option for the future of Palestine? Is it going to the United Nations for the recognition of the Palestinian state without concluding a peace agreement with Israel, or going back to the negotiation table with the Israelis for the sake of a permanent peace with them and then resort to the UN?

59.3% said it was better to go back to the negotiating table with Israel; only 35.4% said going to the UN was preferable.

Some people say that Palestinians should hold huge peaceful demos that overrun the barriers and close the roads against the Israeli army and the settlers with the aim to force the Israelis to withdraw from the territories of the State of Palestine after the proclamation of the UN-resolution recognizing the State of Palestine, whilst others say Palestinians should carry out violent actions against the Israeli army and the settlers, and a third group of people is in favor of going back to the peaceful negotiations with the Israeli government. Which of these three opinions is the closest to yours?

25.9% support demonstrations
15.2% support violence
53.4% support negotiations

The complete poll information, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, can be found here:

Seems like the Arab spring forgot the Palestinian people.

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As the USA makes it known that it disapproves of the PA going forward at the UN, in violation of previous agreements, this question should be considered.

According to PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, a declaration of a Palestinian Arab state would not affect the status of the PLO as "the sole legitimate representative for the Palestinian people."  He says that the PLO is the only party that can negotiate for "Palestine" - even after "Palestine" is established.  Even with statehood, the PLO will remain the mandate-holder.  Thus, the Palestinian state would be perhaps the first state ever recognized that was run by a private organization.

Here is the link, which can be translated by Google.

But there is more about what kind of state Palestine would be.

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Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 02:52 PM PDT

If only Israel would make peace...

by citizen53

with the Palestinians, then peace will flower everywhere.  The root of conflict is resolution of I/P.  Terror is a product of poverty and despair.  Or so we are told.  At least by many here at Daily Kos that seem only to pay attention to a singular view and reject other narratives or sources.    

Someone should please tell Walid Sakariya, Hizbullah MP and retired Brig. Gen. that he did not get the message!  Just 4 days ago, he said:

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and it generates two diaries, in Egypt the Islamists are showing where things are headed, along with violence and deaths, and the liberals are in retreat.

Calls for an Islamic state have taken over Cairo’s Tahrir Square as the largest demonstration since February has been mobilized by the country’s Islamist organizations. Ultraconservative Muslims turned out in force Friday as hundreds of thousands filled Cairo's central Tahrir Square in a rally marked by a growing rift in the protest movement.


Instead of "Peaceful, peaceful," which demonstrators have chanted during confrontations with security forces, they repeated "Islamic, Islamic." And instead of "The people want to topple the regime" — a chant made famous in Tunisia and adopted across the region — they yelled, "The people want to implement sharia," a strict form of Islamic law.

Later there were a number of casualties when violence broke out in a separate incident in Sinai.

“We have two bodies of civilians in the morgue now and 12 police conscripts being treated for injuries in hospital,” Hisham Shiha, Egypt’s deputy health minister, told state television.

Around 100 armed men drove around the city of El-Arish, shouting Islamic slogans, and firing into the air, before attacking a police station.

Elsewhere in Egypt, some of the Islamic protests turned violent.

Gunmen fired on a car carrying five Christians in the province of Minya south of Cairo, killing two and injuring two, a military official said. It was the second killing in two weeks in the predominantly Christian village of Roman.

For anyone interested, besides the BBC and AP reports, the NY Times and Reuters provide further details, including the distress of Egyptian liberals.  The sexy part of the Arab spring has apparently sprung, but the masses at Daily Kos look elsewhere.

Egypt has been showing increased signs of polarization, Mr. Shadid reports, and the rift between religious and secular factions was clearly in evidence on Friday as many secular Egyptians responded to the scene in Tahrir Square on social media sites.

I suggest reading the social media entries from the above link, and the larger piece referred to, which is here:

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Since no rules regarding diary content is in order, from the New York Times.  The headline/title speaks for itself.

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Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:35 AM PDT


by citizen53

UPDATE AT THE END.  Please read it.

FINAL UPDATE also at the end.

I am writing this diary based on a comment I started to answer.  I fully anticipate some of the replies it will engender, but they will help make the point.  We'll see.

I wanted to show what imbalance is, and to rebut something I see here concerning "Israel Derangement Syndrome."

Below is the comment and what I have to say.  I think the comment does just what it criticizes.  I further have some words about those who raise this malady in the first instance.  I have lots to do and am not looking to debate, nor am I obligated to.  So let’s not go there.  One can write a diary just to say what one thinks.  You can respect that or not, your choice.  I would rather the words be read anyway.  Too often here there must be comments about EVERYTHING, no matter how small.  Most comments at this site are unnecessary from my point of view.

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Okay.  The Massachusetts seat is lost.  But are there lessons to be learned?  Just where have the wheels come off of the crowning achievement that was Obama's ascendancy to the Presidency?

Surely, he created his own overblown expectations.  Then he changed his course and took actions that probably led many of his supporters here, if they could be candid, to scratch their heads.

For example, if he had come out for single payer on day one (yes, I know that single payer has no chance according to his supporters) and repeatedly thereafter, would his supporters have voiced objections here as many do now when single payer proponents talk about it?  Or would they now be advocating for it as well?  Do these supporters want it?  And why was it improper to even discuss it if there was supposed to be a truly deliberative process?  How does that promote legitimacy in the democratic process?

Anyway, the more relevant points based on the election results follow, but I believe that those who blame the Left for Obama's predicament are simply missing the boat.

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Cross posted at Docudharma

I hope the title of this diary will cause people to think.

It should be clear to many that although I voted for Obama in the election, he was not my choice to be the nominee.  Despite the rhetoric of his campaign, I saw him from the start as too closely connected to those at The Hamilton Project, the entrenched, corporate sector that holds too tight on power.  What bothered me most was that the marketing said the opposite.  He is now elected, so what matters today and in the future is his performance and what it means to Democrats and Americans.

Yesterday I watched the latest episode of Bill Moyers with Robert Kuttner and Matt Taibbi.

Watching and listening to the conversation, I wondered to myself how it was possible for someone who many told us was playing 11th dimensional chess to screw up the health "reform" situation (not to mention some other important issues) so badly.  More important, what are the ramifications.  The answer came from Robert Kuttner, and if you keep reading, you will discover.

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