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View Diary: What's the Matter with dKos? (176 comments)

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  •  I wish I had you enthusiasm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hell, I wish I had anyone's enthusiasm.

    The fuckers steal elections. And when they can't - they co-opt the results.

    And meanwhile -- the band plays on, marching directly for the cliff.

    It's enough for me to go looking for what's left of the radical leftists of the 60's.

    "The system's broken, man"

    Nearly 50 years later - It's still broken. And we're still paying the piper.

    ..and we sang dirges in the dark the day - Do you recall what was the feel, the day, the music died -- Don McLean

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 12:21:36 PM PDT

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    •  Which is why I've long-advocated ... (4+ / 0-)

      ... smart grassroots politics. Coordinated grassroots efforts are the only effective way to topple top-down power hierarchies. This is, repeatedly, a proven fact. When people - a la the Arab Spring, Civil Rights Movement, Indian nationalist movement, and American Revolution - work together, linking resources and abilities, powerful systems can be pulled down.

      The reason the system is unchanged in this country since the post-war era is that no viable, lasting people's movement has arisen to challenge it. Forget (for the purpose of discussion) about what's happening in Washington. Work at the local level to transform your community into the political success you seek. When that's done, link with other community efforts and go regional. Then transform your state, and then, eventually, the nation. Without that foundation work, any movement will founder when facing down established power. It's the reason Mao initially took his People's Army into the countryside, rather than trying to face down the Nationalists for control of the cities. It's the reason Dr. King worked for years in the south before ever marching to Washington. Building that solid grassroots infrastructure is what holds a movement together when the status quo powers eventually respond by trying to smash it.

      So getting discouraged is just a symptom of the current situation - the entrenched powers standing firm against movements that rise up quickly, but lack the solid foundation to endure long enough to bring about needed reform. Do the necessary grassroots foundation laying, and the game changes substantially.


      •  "Smart" is the magic word. Without it, zip happens (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, wishingwell, R2P2

        I recently saw what was supposed to be a get out the vote effort by progressives with shining eyes. And what I think is no brain engaged behind them.

        The idea was to go to high school commencements with voter registration forms, getting a sort of access to the now or soon to be eighteen and eligible voters if registered. No tables. No identification that the people in civvies were an organized voter registration campaign, and nothing else.  A bunch of old white folks in civvies only without even the minor help of partisan ID, since Dems don't do immigration raids. the only thought about how to approach possibles was to wave forms and say "Would you like a voters' registration form for your graduate?" No second statement.

        This is important because the high schools in question have very large numbers of students from families whose first language is neither English nor even Spanish. Although the state election board supplied forms in languages other than English or Spanish, the volunteers didn't have any of them. Nor speak any of those languages. Didn't have forms or speak Spanish either.

        This last is important as, of course, the very first question on the form and in the minds of the GOTV folk was the question, 'are you a US citizen?" Not a question a family which may have one or more in irregular status or know someone who is, such as a guest at the graduation, wants to chat about with a stranger unidentified save for the waving of forms.

        It also developed that the people doing this GOTV had been chucked off the premises the prior day after supposedly getting the permission of the higher ups to be there but not getting it in writing to help them when the lower downs of the site chucked them out. They had also been encountered by police who ordered them to leave when walking through a nearbly shopping center waving forms, and accosting people standing in movie lines.

        And what they planned to do was get the forms filled out and then turn them in themselves, rather than providing forms, and hints of how to fill them out, and perhaps stamps by which the would be registrants would be encouraged to mail them themselves, the mailing system making sure that no one  other than them and the election board having access to the contents, and there being less doubt than might result from leaving them with the GOTV volunteers,  that the forms and the election board would actually encounter one another or instead be used for a more nefarious purpose.

        One minority volunteer also appeared, an experienced guy, and he ended up complaining to the leader of this enterprise that she was being condescending to him, and flat out refused to follow her game plan. Wonderful.

        Apparently three days of effort got them twelve filled out forms, or so it was said. It resulted in a leader sure that she had run a diligent and well informed GOTV and proud of herself,  with it on her resume, but not going to do more because twelve forms was not enough to call it a complete success. And those who hear the tale from her will also be told that GOTV was properly done, and need not be done again in the location and with the population in question. Not.

        It is not enough to be a shining eyed progressive. The brain to figure out what really has to be done to get people willing to fill out and file the forms, in the circumstances in which the would be voters find themselves, not the GOTVers think themselves to be in, and then to toddle off and vote on voting day, is what is required. And the execution of the plan, with trained workers, not a leader who is sure what she proposes is minimally legal and that's all that matters.

      •  Meanwhile, back at dustbowl ranch (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ..the climate catastrophe marches on.

        My gut tells me to fight, but my mind tells me to find my Zen and die with a modicum of decorum.

        You fight. I'm looking for a sailboat and a storm.

        I'd rather be a "Tree-hugger" than a "Planet-raper" and a Destroyer of Worlds -- But I'm funny that way. I want a living Earth, not just a living room.

        by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 02:25:12 PM PDT

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        •  I can totally relate to this APaSC, my mind is (1+ / 0-)

          often conflicted. So far my recurring conclusion is that we have a chance in this fight. Because?

          In Jesselyn Radack's diary yesterday on the virtual failure of American journalism compared to overseas sources,  quill linked to this analysis by Mark Feldstein ."A Muckraking Model: Investigative Reporting Cycles in American History"

          The essence is that American journalism has had 3 periods of the kind of effective writing that produced real results. 1760s and 70s,  1902 -12, and the 1960s and 70's. Important points for me:

          Investigative journalists were reformers, not revolutionaries.

          ...the investigative reporter provides policy makers with the opportunity to take corrective actions without changing the distribution of power.

          The overall purpose of investigative journalism is to expose abuse of power by speaking truth to power: the citizens, through the media.

          Interestingly, the first American period of investigative reporting in the 1760's and 70s, before and during the revolution, did involve some reporters writing for revolution, which did occur and changed the distribution of power quite thoroughly.

          Feldstein suggests a model extrapolated from:"two mutually reinforcing phenomena" (David Protess) that creates an era marked by significant progress in improving the society: a press that is producing a high volume of investigative journalism and has new technologies to distribute the expose, and a strong populist movement demanding the investigative reporting that then pushes the government entity responsible for change.

          We have the Internet with plenty of independent writing, and TV, greatly enhanced by the accessibility of information on the web, plus cell phones that have cameras and can access the web, FB, Twitter, etc. We have ows and the 99% movements.

          We have a chance to fight a non-violent revolution and return the distribution of power to where it belongs: We the People, Congress and an independent 4th estate.

          The outcome, good or bad, will ultimately lay the foundation for however many people, and how much habitable land, survive whatever economic and environmental collapses become inevitable.

          The planet will survive, in some form. My hope is that it is good enough for humanity to make the enormous transition successfully, and they actually try hard enough.

          So I have to challenge you. If you are honestly looking for a sailboat and a storm, how come you are hanging out here at DKos?

          You can always go back to looking in Nov ;)

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 04:25:48 PM PDT

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          •  I think I have a "man-crush" on Ms. Radack (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ginny in CO

            She and a certain Front-pager who will be left unnamed have me all-atwitter when it comes to a "beautiful woman."

            I have a friend from the way-back times who stumbled into some funds and a few sailboats and an open invitation to hug the coast in a single-hull, and another who I could convince to finally step-up and go who inherited more money than God, but I'll skip the ordeal.

            I have unrequited responsibilities and a conscience.

            Can't catch a Blue Marlin in blue-water and be happy if your mother is in the poorhouse. If you have a soul worth spitting at.

            Now I'm wondering if this electronic conversation is worthy of public consumption, Ginny?

            May I call you Ginny? It seems so forward here in the Internet age.

            My take is that humanity will survive. At least the human genes and the sexual reproductive advanced primate parts. Civilization as we know it is probably toast.

            Never been a Navy-man or in the merchant marines. But I watch the crabbers and the long-liners on the TeeVee machine between commercials..

            Not really.

            Drowning in the Pacific would be a perfectly decent way to die. I can read the wind and the swells and fool the fish.

            The fuckers are killing all the fish.

            I'd rather be a "Tree-hugger" than a "Planet-raper" and a Destroyer of Worlds -- But I'm funny that way. I want a living Earth, not just a living room.

            by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:20:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Anthony, I much prefer Ginny to Virginia :) (2+ / 0-)

              I happen to enjoy the side bar electronic conversations. Because most of them touch on shtuff that many of us are grappling with. Occasionally they produce a very useful concept that starts a productive reconsideration of the problem.

              People can read or scroll on.

              As far as the human race reproducing, our environmental toxins may well interfere.

              Something about us keeps me preferring that future generations have a chance to look at all the mistakes and create a very decent post collapse civilization.

              Meanwhile, I'm a long ways from a body of water suitable to your plan. So I work on the exit plan in a very leisurely way, keeping tabs on reality and what Kossacks are talking about, doing and ranting on.

              Thanks for the conversation. Happy sailing.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:07:29 PM PDT

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      •  Game Change? (0+ / 0-)

        Beltway insider penned a missive?

        I'll vote. Bring some others along for the ride. In my futile endeavor because there's nothing better to do and I still care.

        Grab a few votes for the party of small ideas but at least they're not Pat Roberson insane.

        I'll even try and convince them that their votes actually count.

        Which makes me a liar. Selling an agenda and a pipe-dream. Peddling Hope." The new smack, speed steroids with a get outta jail free card..

        This whore has it going on. She's not at all like that whore.

        Don't dip your dick in the cesspool. It's poison these days.

        I'd rather be a "Tree-hugger" than a "Planet-raper" and a Destroyer of Worlds -- But I'm funny that way. I want a living Earth, not just a living room.

        by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:41:51 PM PDT

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      •  perfect advice for OWS too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dzog, Larsstephens

        If "Occupy" took your advice they might become what they desire to become. Well said.

        America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

        by cacamp on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 04:20:58 PM PDT

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      •  We are no-where near "critical-mass" (0+ / 0-)

        I'm old and tired and broke - It's up to you guys.

        Good-luck and I mean it.

        Get off your asses and do something or the party's over.

        No disrespect intended, but drum-circles 'aint gonna cut it.
        Otherwise Orwell wasn't just an author - he was a time-travelling prophet just writing history.

        Fix this -- Children. Or live it.

        I'd rather be a "Tree-hugger" than a "Planet-raper" and a Destroyer of Worlds -- But I'm funny that way. I want a living Earth, not just a living room.

        by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:38:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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