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(UPDATE: For reasons that I would think would be obvious, my shaken faith in the Daily Kos community has been restored. I'll sleep fine tonight.)

I'll keep this brief.
There is a diary on the recommended list that I feel strongly has no place on Daily Kos.
Obviously, the community does not agree with me.
I fully expect to have the living shit flamed out of me. That's ok. I got thick skin.


after you read this update. From the comments:

 How about (4+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
   tardcat, tomhodukavich, kestrel9000, Archie2227

... you're ashamed of the people who rec'ed it given that the vast majority of the community didn't?


by BarbinMD on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:04:52 AM EDT

Fair enough.

From the FAQ:

This is a Democratic blog, a partisan blog. One that recognizes that Democrats run from left to right on the ideological spectrum, and yet we're all still in this fight together. We happily embrace centrists like NDN's Simon Rosenberg and Howard Dean, conservatives like Martin Frost and Brad Carson, and liberals like John Kerry and Barack Obama. Liberal? Yeah, we're around here and we're proud. But it's not a liberal blog. It's a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory. And since we haven't gotten any of that from the current crew, we're one more thing: a reform blog. The battle for the party is not an ideological battle. It's one between establishment and anti-establishment factions. And as I've said a million times, the status quo is untenable

From this mission statement, I'm comfortable proceeding on the assumption that I set forth in my comment in the diary to which I refer:

 I find it interesting (8+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
   Yosef 52, ChicDemago, Anderson Republican, buddabelly, Mariken, Felis sempervirens, Archie2227, The Union Forever

that an online community formed around a blog with a mission to improve America through participation in American politics would elevate a diary on "why I wish no part of America" to the top of the rec list.

I feel a diary of my own coming on.

Another interesting thing: aren't you lucky enough to be rich enough to be able to cast off the chains of the capitalism you so decry?

I know what you're trying to do, and you can't. - Eddie Garcia (-6.88/-5.74)

by kestrel9000 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 03:16:45 AM EDT

I have said a number of times around here that the stupidest question one can ask about a diary around here is, "Why is this on the rec list"? (well, because people recommended it, silly!) I never thought I'd find myself asking it. I didn't even ask it when a blank diary recently topped the rec list for quite some time.

But I find myself asking it now.

Please explain to me how statements like this:

I don't want to be a part of American history. I have no interest in fighting for America.

beyond leaving the US, I wanted to shed my US Citizenship, as well. When I visit the US in the future, I wish to be a tourist; and to the rest of the world, I don't want to be identified as an American.

I am leaving because I don't want to watch the American descent.

contribute to the mission of Daily Kos.  Again, this seems to me to be a blog for people who wish to improve America through participation, not abandon America through defeatism. And it must be nice to have that kind of money to throw around. If I did, I would probably donate to food banks and programs like the health fair in Wise, VA, and to progressive candidates of my choice.

Under no circumstances would I "take my ball and go home."

I AM home.

I am disgusted that members of a community that has been the center of my online universe for nearly four years now would praise that diary and elevate it to the top of the Recommended list.

In my view, it is a blight on this site.

I woke up at 3 am to use the little boy's room and have a smoke and I was so upset by this I could not really get back to sleep. I dozed off for a few and had a bizarre dream about a leaky ceiling, and when I woke up I was still pissed.

My ceiling leaks, I fix it. I don't move.

I own my house.

And Pluto?

Don't let the door hit you in the ass.

Originally posted to Nest of kestrel9000 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 03:22 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (375+ / 8-)
    Recommended by:
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      •  I had a negative reaction to the blank diary (6+ / 0-)

        and there were no negative comments.

        Note that Pluto's diary wasn't on the rec list very long (I didn't see it) and the comment threads ran from  praise to negative.  I think that it was there is great because it can be seen and discussed.  If it really was 100% agreement, I would be very angry.

        We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

        by alliedoc on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:10:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oops. It is on there now. I had the mistaken (3+ / 0-)

          impression that it was written friday.

          We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

          by alliedoc on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:16:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  .... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kestrel9000, beijingbetty

          Note that Pluto's diary wasn't on the rec list very long (I didn't see it)

          As of right now (8:28AM EST), this diary is number one and Pluto's is number two.

          •  didn't see my correction. I thought pluto's was (0+ / 0-)

            written long before and I hadn't seen it, therefore, it must not have been on the rec list very long.  I got it and corrected myself.

            Thanks, tho.  Honestly, pluto's wasn't this big outpouring of agreement that was represented.  I thought it was a very thoughtful diary with a really important point.  Plus, let's say there was a big emigration from the intellectual left.  Let's say that a lot of those people owned companies that also left.  There would be notice.  I don't think it would be a bad point ... that people are actually dissatisfied enough to leave the country.  That is an extremely significant move.

            Let's take me for example.  I am an educator and a scientist.  I don't make contributions that would be felt by everyone, but I am part of the basic research structure.  I teach.  I have an income in the 70's and have three kids.  I help to a small degree with some campaign stuff like petition drives and I gave about $500 to all political causes last year.  I contributed to the arts and medical research to a level of about $1500.  (way more than normal and too much for me).  

            What if I left?  I would never do it but really because this is where I live and my family lives.  I wouldn't get a job in another country likely but that wouldn't be why.

            What would be the impact if 1000 people like me left?  I don't know but I think significant levels of protest are a good thing.

            We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

            by alliedoc on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 09:25:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The fact that blank diaries (6+ / 0-)

          (which I use to mean any diaries that have no fundamental content), "distraction diaries," duplicate diaries, and restatement diaries regularly sit at the top of the recommended list actually makes me more annoyed than any kind of diary that might elicit a "What will the neighbors say?" fear. The fact that such diaries are regularly recommended says something about the community.

          The fact that the list only contains eight places even after readership has multiplied by at least a factor of four, and that there's no structured way of finding information once it has scrolled off the screen, says something about the administration.

          Add the two together and you have a site that caters to those who seek momentary edutainment more than to those who want to get involved and stay involved. The fact that the community relatively serves up links to real reporting that happens elsewhere makes it indispensable, especially since it's hard to find that by reading the straight traditional media. But the site has always accomplished far, far less than it could have.

          Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

          by AlanF on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:59:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I absolutely disagree with yours and (8+ / 0-)

            Alliedoc's statement. Come on now, Photo diaries, snark diaries, "watch this incredible video", and that FANTASTIC "This is what John McCain and Ted Kennedy have in common" diaries are as much great as the others. We can't be so damn serious all the time. What are we robots? Some diaries don't need to be long and meticulous. Those deserve to be at the tob as much if not MORE than any other diary. PERIOD. This bullshit "I hate America I am taking my ball and going home" deserves no place on this site let alone the rec list. It disgusts me the absolute defitism and playing right into the stereotype of libs hating America. You guys are nicer than I am saying don't let the door hit you. I say GET THE FUCK OUT, won't miss you either way.

            Progressives are not always right.Sorry, but they are not. Our ideas are just good ideas.That is all. Good ideas that could work.

            by theone718 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:03:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If those can make recommended, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AlanF, Lazar

              what's wrong with Pluto's doing the same? I understand the frustration, I live abroad myself, and have gone through similar thoughts. I don't entirely agree with his diary or how he presented himself. Hew may be regretful he left/is leaving/wants to leave, but he didn't convey that well. He may hope for and continue to fight for the best for the future of the US, but he didn't convey that. He showed naivete in globetrotting between unnamed countries that have few problems or stains in their history.

              But, it does relate to this country, politics, the left in this country, the failure of Democrats (or their corruption) resulting in few reforms despite all the effort and money we put into getting them elected every 2-4 years.

              "All [US govt model based countries], without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." - Bruce Ackerman

              by PoxOnYou on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:38:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What left? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cdreid, kestrel9000

                The loony left? No Dem I know hates America. They see alot wrong with it and want to change it for the better. Like I said the America bashing has NO PLACE on this site and anyone who agrees with it can eat a dick. Look I see many things in this country I disagree with, find reprehensible etc. We discuss that here all the time. THAT wasn't a discussion. It was America bashing at it's finest. It deserves no place on this site.

                Progressives are not always right.Sorry, but they are not. Our ideas are just good ideas.That is all. Good ideas that could work.

                by theone718 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 09:03:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Perhaps this will help (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kestrel9000, justalittlebitcrazy

                This person made a quick killing off of Capitalist manipulation. Then whines and complains at how capitalist and manipulative this society is. Makes me think of someone slitting a pigs throat and tossing it in the freezer then screaming that americans are cruel to animals and should go vegan.

                But mostly.. look half my extended family have fought for this country. My favorite (and deceased sadly) uncle was one of the people who helped free the Nazi concentration camps. My dad was on a carrier loading  weapons onto jets during  the cuban missile crisis. I was a shitty embarassment of a soldier but took the oath and  take it very seriously to this day...

                I have no problem with people wanting to leave the US. Or liking other nations and societies better. But this whiney, hipocrytical narcissist insults everything all those people have done, all they sacrificed in his petulant self-important fit?

                The diary made me sick and he makes me sick.

            •  I'm not talking about whether (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              UFOH1, dmh44, alliedoc

              entertainment diaries are "as much great as the others" (to use your phrase). I'm talking about what it means that the way the site is set up, the community has to CHOOSE between entertainment and information, and the choice is usually going to be for entertainment. I would have no problem if the site made it easy for people to choose the best photo diaries, the best snark, AND the best investigative journalism, and let individuals zero in on whichever category they wanted to.

              Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

              by AlanF on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:40:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No no no (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lazar, The Union Forever

                There are just as many informative diaries as others. It is a MIX........sort of like how the site is. It is perfectly fine that way. Not every diary has to be to your liking but oh well don't read it. That Pluto diary takes it a step further, the America bashing deserves no place on this damn site, PERIOD.

                Progressives are not always right.Sorry, but they are not. Our ideas are just good ideas.That is all. Good ideas that could work.

                by theone718 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 09:01:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Erm ... they aren't that common. I honestly (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AlanF, Lazar

              don't care that much.  Angry is not correct for me.  It's annoying that they get so much attention but maybe that is jealousy.  No, not really.  I am jealous of other things.  The McCain/Kennedy diary bugged me but I don't feel angry.  It is part of the process.  I feel more like, "Why don't you guys grow up" than anything else.  I really only have time for a few diaries and over a long period of time, I get enough information.  Thank god I don't worry about what I don't learn or I would freak out.

              We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

              by alliedoc on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 09:33:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The site was well designed to handle (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            less than 50,000 users...what do we have now, a quarter million? I think it's just too big to respond to technical fixes, but the whole idea of "self-moderation" has become a tradition now so it's hard to see how it could be moderated without fundamentally changing the nature of the site. We're seeing what happens when you let "the people" in real life (elections), the result is not always pretty....

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 09:27:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There could be smarter self-moderation (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cdreid, Lazar

              based on, say, selection by a randomly-selected jury rather than by the people who are here all the time and who are ready to rec up a diary as soon as it appears on the recent diary list, without reading it, just on the basis of its author's name or pugnacious title (w/lots of @*#&'s). There could be an algorithm that doesn't favor the rapidity with which diaries climb. There could be a means to separate diaries into categories. And then there could be enough space within these categories so that they're not all competing for the same tiny amount of oxygen. Heck, even expanding the recommended list by a factor of two would have a positive effect.

              But yes, the time for these technical fixes would have been long ago. (The changes that have been promised are not only far in the future but don't address these issues.) Not only has the community established, but it's become pretty clear that the administration is satisfied with the status quo.

              Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

              by AlanF on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:48:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Emailed nearly (0+ / 0-)

                exactly that to markos a while back. No idea if he read it or took it seriously.

                But i can tell you this. The guys running DK have an extraordinary vision. That dk is what it is was thought out. When they roll out the next major change we can be certain many of these problems will disappear and the site will improve in ways we dont envision. Been here long enough and pleasantly suprised enough to come to expect it.

                •  I've been here a long time, too (5-1/2 years) (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cdreid, condorcet, TheOpinionGuy

                  and I've always been disappointed by the small number of fundamental improvements and the length of time it has taken for them to occur.

                  First movement to Scoop, back in 2003? Definitely a very good move.

                  Adding a rec list in the first place (early-mid 2004?) was also a good thing.

                  Enforcing a minimum limit on diary length (2004, I think) was also a good thing, though it's easy to get around.

                  dKosopedia - 2004 - a great idea but badly publicized and almost unused.

                  AJAX-based automatic updating of pages - 2005? - was also a good thing.

                  Tagging - 2005? was also a good thing. Too bad the attempts to make the tags useful (the "tag team") was shot down because it seemed to be too much of a "drag."

                  Map of states with display of races - 2008.

                  DK poll - 2008 or 2009.

                  CongressMatters - 2008 or 2009 (nice idea for "Congress wonks," but I wish there were something similar for activists in general)

                  Then there are automatic tip jars, which were only introduced this year after being requested for years and years.

                  But these don't really address the fundamental issues that keep the site from being what many would want it to be. Kos has talked about an upcoming ability to "follow" individual posters but not much else. The fact that there's no good way to categorize posts or search through categories of existing posts is a glaring flaw. (Sorry, tags as currently implemented don't cut it.) And when you consider that the site has been around in its current form since 2003, it's really not for lack of time that these changes haven't been made.

                  Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

                  by AlanF on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:54:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Holy crap (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    We've been here that long eh? (not counting pre-yellow dk?).

                    I agree completely.. but then Markos just had two babies and the four or five mainstays probably dont want to "push" tech things (Heh demfrom refuses to be a bombthrower to use his words no matter how many years i push him).

                    I think youve got the heart of a needed change. A Categorised diary system. You can then let the users select their display so they can see the top from fav categories.. even keep a "rec list" that has the highest from each category. Dont want to go too far there though as you fragment the community.

                    I think diary rescue was supposed to fix most of that temporarily but it flat doesnt work. The rescued diaries are usually long navalgazing philisophical pieces and rarely the hard hitting or controversial diaries. I was shocked to see a pro second amendment one make it.. and have almost no comments as it deflated a core gun control talking point. The work the rescuers do is phenomenal but they rarely pick the most important overlooked diaries. Frankly i think we need an asshole like Armando to do that (he had a particular astonishing talent at knowing what the important issue are).

            •  It' works fine, the diary was posted, some agreed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              some disagreed the rebuttal diary was posted, some agreed some disagreed, the rebuttal to the rebuttal was posted...........

          •  Yes, totally. You said, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            "momentary edutainment more than to those who want to get involved and stay involved".

            That's also how I view the response "pie" to a very serious question.  It is no big deal in that venue but I wonder about the kind of person who makes that response (to a serious question) ... It's like I don't care enough to be serious so F the poll.  Again, I don't get mad at the response but it is similar to the blank diary.  Oh, there was a really blank diary ... no content ... that was on the rec list for a long time.

            But, they aren't the diarist fault except to bump someone off the recent list.  The people who rec it up are to blame.

            We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

            by alliedoc on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 09:30:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, the evolution of "pie" symbolizes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              one of the annoying attributes of the site. If you're not aware of the background, see Pie fight on dKosopedia. Basically, it was a case where the site (in this case, the administration and part of the community) valued attitude over sensitivity and community cohesion, and a number of good writers left the community as a result. Over the passage of time, "pie" has come to symbolize the attitude (we're here primarily to have fun) even for people who don't know what it originally represented.

              Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

              by AlanF on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:24:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I know of this pie war thing intellectually (0+ / 0-)

                although I don't totally understand.  And, I did understand what pie symbolizes.  Funny that urban dict includes female genitals as "pie" and I thought it was related to that at first.

                When I see that in the polls, then, I am correct in assuming that it is a "I don't give a shit response" which makes my general impression correct.  Right?

                We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

                by alliedoc on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:53:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Or just "I want to choose the funny answer." (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  And as you say, that's not an evil choice (particularly since the diarist chose to offer it in the first place), just mildly annoying. But most polls offered in diaries are unscientific and not included for learning purposes, anyway. There have been times that I've inserted a poll just to see how many people read the diary and cared enough to give a click. (I believe you don't have to be a registered user to do that, but don't feel like logging out and in again to test it while I have this comment open.)

                  Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

                  by AlanF on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:28:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Unscientific? They never even have my choice! (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't even know if it elevates to "annoying".  I just imagine some joker, laughing and clicking "pie" and then being insincere in all comments.  Sitting there in an old man undershirt and with a lite beer in his hand and a bunch of empties strewn around.  Pie! Pie! Pie!

                    I'm an imaginative sort ...

                    We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

                    by alliedoc on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 01:39:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Because (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            you dont really see what Dailykos is.

            It really is a Community.

            Many or most come here and believe it is mostly just a Democratic political activist site. But it has never been just that. It was never even mostly that. This is a gathering place for the community of the left. There is much much more to us than where to protest or who to contribute too.

            •  I agree that it is a community (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              but it is neither as cohesive nor as powerful as it could be if the administrators and readers had different priorities.

              I wish there were an alternative site with good tools that were fundamentally a Democratic political activist site, as that would free DK to stop pretending that that was its primary mission. Then there'd be some good cross-pollination as well as separation between the two: people could go to the other site if they cared more about getting involved, and they could come back here for more "fun." Unfortunately, putting together such a site is not an easy thing.

              Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

              by AlanF on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:34:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, flames it is. (36+ / 0-)

      Lets start here- how about health care? Jerome and others have diaried on this numerous times, and even from Michael Moore's movie we can see how others lose their lives over this aspect of our society. Should we all risk our lives when we can move? It's a choice, and I'm not sure there is a right or wrong answer, maybe something you may want to consider during those cigarettes- what will happen to you? You'll keep your house or apartment in Europe and the system wont swallow you whole. And on that note, I might choose to continue living than be part of either a war or some other aspect of any society that will expose me to the elements that will ultimately end my life- be those crime, pollution, or whatever kind of threat my government is unwilling to protect me from.

      And Pluto is right with regard to a government's general direction towards having a duty to protect the wealth of its citizens, his points, yes, they are a direction taken by most of the Social Democracies, at least in theory, and it makes for a better society in more ways than I can explain, as far as I understand, as I'm still learning and trying to fit into society here in Europe.

      My thought is that you've never visited Europe, and your tone may be a bit xenophobic and scared- so why don't you entertain and this a bit, maybe save up some money and come over for a visit and see what this place is like, now, if you're one of the ones who have all these myths circulating in your mind about all the bad things a patriotic American thinks about any other given place in the world as being inferior.

      There may be no right answer to this, and, as I mention elsewhere, there are flip sides to many of Pluto's points but they are nevertheless true in most regards, and that is ok.

      Maybe you should be a little more understanding instead of so condemning- as Pluto points out- people have a tendency to move for all sorts of reasons, and surely, you are probably proud that some of your ancestors came here, for reasons no less valid than for why Pluto wants to try Europe now.  

      Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

      by borkitekt on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:04:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not about xenophobia (44+ / 0-)

        I'll readily admit that Pluto's criticisms are valid, and Europe probably is a better place right now for all of those social indicators s/he describes.  I think many on the left are so traumatized by rightwing fairy-tale patriotism and outright nationalism, that we are quick to condemn the other sort of patriotism - the kind that approaches America warts and all and does not want to throw in the towel.

        This is a blog about electing Democrats and moving forward a progressive agenda, not about renouncing citizenship and losing the right to vote.

        Maybe it's also a matter of taste or tone, but I found Pluto's diary deeply creepy.  A good big section of it has to do with getting her genes out of the country, presumable to enhance some sort of Darwinian fiction.  I'm a big fan of biology, but the sort of Darwinian argument - I'm getting out now because my own personal genes matter - defeats the community spirit of "were all in this together".  I found it creepy.

        And Pluto may not be able to protect her genetic heritage all that well, even in distant orbit from the United States.  If the US blows up, if the US declines and there's nothing sane to replace it, her genes and her off-the-grid economic theories aren't going to save her, even if she's chilling in Tuva.

        "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

        by ivorybill on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:28:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But that's not why he's moving... (26+ / 0-)

        I've been in bad health most of my life. I could sympathize with someone if they said "I need help, I can't take it anymore, I have to leave." What I can't sympathize with is some saying they want nothing to do with any part of American history, they want to leave this country, abandon their citizenship, and never again be associated in any way with our nation, unless they are visiting as "a tourist."

        I've visited Europe. It is beautiful and the standard of life is far superior to our own. You'll get no argument there. That said, one doesn't need to renounce all connection with the nation of their birth in order to live abroad. Dual citizenship is always possible.

        I can't speak for the diarist, but it isn't Pluto's leaving that I object to. I wish him/her the best of luck abroad. It's the tone of complete loathing for this country that I found offensive. This is supposed to be a blog mainly devoted to electing more and better Democrats. You can't elect anyone if you renounce your citizenship and in the process your right to vote in American elections, now, can you.

        I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind. I go for anything new that might improve the past. ~ Clara Barton

        by AuroraDawn on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:54:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Choice (16+ / 0-)

          Well just as being born into a religion is not a choice, so too is being born into a nation.

          I see no problem in rejecting the religion of my birth, so I also see no problem in rejecting the nation of my birth.

          And... American nationalism is not that far off from a religion.

          I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong- Feynman

          by taonow on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:10:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree 100% (4+ / 0-)

          Honestly... it's a phase, it's psychology.

          When we all get here for the first few years it is all rosy, then, we find all those annoying things Euros do, and it will drive us crazy. I could tell stories, but, it's just part of life in another culture.

          I do feel much of the same way as Pluto, just not as extreme, and I am different than most people. And the place where I live is very accepting of Americans, so, both it and I have it easy to some degree.

          But, I lived most of my life in Texas, and though I wanted to feel more European, Swedish, whatever, I'm still a bit of a Texan, and in some ways I want to reconnect with those things more, and not just that, but I've never learned anything from my jewish heritage either-which is especially weird, but, in a strange way, there is something so strong and powerful about coming to Europe and seeing this mythical place, where many of our relatives came from as well and, perhaps, living like a new modern settler. Maybe it is a bit silly, but i sort of feel that way sometimes.

          As I was saying... there are things that may never leave someone, like me, and may become stronger just because I or someone just don't want to let go of them, as they are part of our identity... like American Football and Basketball, a few American beers, music, food, english, our psyche... I'd definitely like to leave some of the other attitudes behind- paranoia, violence, violent media, stupid humor and media- though there were some good tv shows, mundanity... but that is everywhere...  

          Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

          by borkitekt on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:48:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can understand that.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill, borkitekt, beijingbetty

            I know I have always longed to spend a lengthy period living near Dubrovnik or St. Petersburg. At some point, when my life is more settled, I would actually like to do just that. I love to travel and enjoy learning first hand about other nations and cultures, but I could never completely renounce the United States.

            Certain aspects of life here - violence, xenophobia, ignorance, racism, etc - I could happily live without. There have also been times when I have been outraged and infuriated that the country which I love remains backward in many respects. I have even thought at times that living abroad might be preferable to living here. I can understand that desire. Yet I cannot sympathize with Pluto's intention to completely cut herself off from America. It is one thing simply to live abroad, take dual citizenship, assimilate with local culture. It is another thing to declare that you want nothing more to do with your own country. I don't contest her right to either do as she wishes, or to write about it, I just can't sympathize with her. It's simply my humble opinion and nothing more.

            I fully comprehend your meaning when you refer to the power of Europe, experienceing Europe, and the connection you feel. I have always felt very similarly. I don't find it silly at all. :)

            I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind. I go for anything new that might improve the past. ~ Clara Barton

            by AuroraDawn on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:08:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  as I was saying, (3+ / 0-)

              Yet I cannot sympathize with Pluto's intention to completely cut herself off from America. It is one thing simply to live abroad, take dual citizenship, assimilate with local culture. It is another thing to declare that you want nothing more to do with your own country.

              I think a lot of people do this, probably including me at the time I left. I'll just about bet my life that Pluto will start to feel a bit homesick somewhere down the road.

              It's just that dislocating ones self at first is a huge step... think of it as a break-up- there are those first extreme phases and emotions:)

              Funny story- swear to god- yesterday I was walking around this little town on a medieval Swedish island and saw a guy with a Texas Tech short. Normally... I wouldn't mention to anyone that I, only for one semester, went to that school. But I was so surprised to see a shirt, I thought, shit, I should say something. Turns out, the guy and his friend, who I could tell were maybe not American, were probably Russian. So, I said, 'Hey, I went to that school!' They looked at me and just smiled, looked at each other, smiled again, and didn't say anything. I was sort of amazed, so I said again- Texas... university... school... and tried Swedish and a few other languages. They didn't get it. I asked them what language they spoke, one guy said to try to speak english, but, eventually, they had no clue and didn't speak English, had no clue what Texas was. So, we laughed and walked away, me thinking idiots. Until I remembered I have a Russian shirt too, and I have no clue what it says, until I was wearing it the other day and an old told me one of the words was "university"... but, honestly, I was thinking I needed someone to help translate that for me, soon:)

              Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

              by borkitekt on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:18:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is a funny story. (3+ / 0-)

                I have a similar story, from the first time I spent a lot of time in Hong Kong.

                Not surprisingly, they favor very British names there like "Winston". And this one guy had this really posh English accents... I was laughing on the inside, like, wow, look at that Chinese guy with the English accent --- and then I realized of course, as a Chinese American, and a first name that comes from Old English, how utterly ridiculous I was being.

                We live in interesting times. :-)

                The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

                by beijingbetty on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 09:14:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  In fact, dual citizenship is not easy to get (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          borkitekt, Cassiodorus, AuroraDawn

          The US permits it with only few exceptions, for example, when the parents are of different nationalities, and then the kids can have dual citizenship under very limited conditions. Many countries allow it, and don't make an issue of it, but the US does. I could have dual citizenship here in Germany, but if I took German citizenship, I would have to relinquish my US passport.

          •  Fair enough, I don't take issue with... (5+ / 0-)

            someone relinquishing citizenship because they want or need to live abroad, and life would be easier for them with German citizenship, French citizenship, Spanish citizenship, etc., and they have found it difficult to obtain dual citizenship.

            It was the bitter tone of her diary, and what seemed to me like a complete repudiation of America, that bothered me. You can relinquish your citizenship without emotionally/intellectually repudiating your nation.

            Perhaps, I'm just feeling more emotional than usual because of the healthcare debate, the loons protesting, and Ted Kennedy's death.

            If she had posted that diary on another day, I still would have been offended by her tone, but I probably would have written nothing in response. While reading her diary, however, all I could think of was what his family (the Kennedys) endured. Two brothers/sons/fathers assassinated in four-and-a-half years. They had money. They could have fled, denounced this country, and never looked back. No one would have blamed them. They didn't, though. They've remained. Ted Kennedy continued on in the Senate. His nephew Bobby does wonderful work on behalf of the environment. Bobby's sisters are all involved in human rights work. His brother Joe founded and operates a company that helps the poor obtain low cost heating oil.

            I'm glad they remained and chose to fight instead of fleeing. Not all of us can remain. I recognize that. If you must go abroad to work, or for health reason, or because the one you love in broad - fine. I just find it incredibly sad that someone who could remain is choosing to give up and leave. Especially now, when we are on the verge of making so many fundamental changes to our society.

            I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind. I go for anything new that might improve the past. ~ Clara Barton

            by AuroraDawn on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:40:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with you on all points. (5+ / 0-)

              As stated higher up, I didn't finish reading the diary, because I thought the diarist sounded a bit loopy and despite all the seemingly rational arguments, he/she appeared to me to be terribly naive. I'm an expat who would love to return - many times during the campaign I was tempted to pack my bags and start knocking on doors back home, but unless health care is really reformed in the foreseeable future, I'll have to stay here until Medicaid kicks in.

              •  I can definitely sympathize with that.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                decent healthcare is difficult to turn one's back on. If I had the opportunity to work abroad, and receive healthcare equivalent to that provided in Germany, I would be hard-pressed to refuse it.

                I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind. I go for anything new that might improve the past. ~ Clara Barton

                by AuroraDawn on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:17:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Correction--Medicare (0+ / 0-)

                Big difference. I assume you are not going broke over there (Medicaid is needs-based).

                "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                by Alice in Florida on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:04:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Why surprised at the bitter tone? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              This person feels that her country of origin has lost all hope and has, therefore, decided to leave.  

              I would be bitter, too.

              And probably in more of a hurry to get out after reading some of these responses.


              The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits -- Albert Einstein

              by SweetLittleOkie on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:35:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Just to clarify: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            borkitekt, AuroraDawn

            The Germans allow it, the US wouldn't, in my case

          •  Right, the US doesn't want you to completely leav (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It would look bad if there was suddenly a brain drain of sorts and people began leaving, getting dual citizenship. They make the choice extremely difficult. You stay a US citizen, or completely renounce it to become a full citizenship of another country.

            "All [US govt model based countries], without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." - Bruce Ackerman

            by PoxOnYou on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:46:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, dual citizenship *is* easy to get (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            borkitekt, Lazar

            The laws have changed in the past 20 years, and there are treaties/agreements between the US and many countries regarding this. Take Canada for instance, once you live there as a legal resident for 3 years, you are eligible for citizenship, which you can hold simultaneously with US citizenship. This is also true in the UK and other countries.

            What's difficult is renouncing your US citizenship, especially if you're trying to avoid paying taxes- the govt. doesn't like that, they make it hard and painful to do so.

            •  Aha, good to know. Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              borkitekt, Lazar

              My info is obviously a bit out of date. But looking at Wikipedia, it's not clear what changes have been made.

            •  there seems to be more to it, via the SWE Embassy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Actually, it looks like a DoS re-direct... and here's another link that explains some of the following in further detail, but I haven't scoped it out as of yet...

              Advice about Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Dual Nationality

              ... However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.

              Intent can be shown by the person's statements or conduct.The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.

              However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there.Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship.Most countries permit a person to renounce or otherwise lose citizenship.

              Information on losing foreign citizenship can be obtained from the foreign country's embassy and consulates in the United States. Americans can renounce U.S. citizenship in the proper form at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.

              Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

              by borkitekt on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:31:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Canada and the US have an agreement (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                allowing dual citizenship without penalty or having to renounce US citizenship to become a Canadian citizen. That DOS quote is a very broad statement; potential immigrants should research the specific situation in the country they hope to move to.

          •  US law allows dual citizenship (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            borkitekt, Lazar

            It's a myth that you have to quit being a citizen of the US if you become the citizen of another country.  As long as you don't renounce your American citizenship, there is no law that does not allow you to have dual, or even multiple, citizenships.  Many Americans are legal citizens of two countries.

            •  That may be true now, but my (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ex-husband was a citizenship law specialist at the US Consulate in Frankfurt and at the time it was only possible to have dual citizenship under very specific, narrow conditions. Of course, that was quite a long time ago, at least 20 years or more, so it was not always "a myth".

              •  Law hasn't changed... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                But there are circumstances that dictate how someone can become a citizen of other countries, depending on agreements and treaties.  For example, the US might not give citizenship to someone from Germany (especially during the Cold War) if they're trying to avoid military service.

                Your ex-husband wasn't working with a black and white law.  And that same vague law exists unchanged today.

                •  Well, he was in the passport section (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  of the Consulate, and the State Department may not have wanted to advertise that it was possible, as a lot of military and their German girlfriends/wives  came through there. I never heard it was, and always assumed the US did not permit it at all, with rare exceptions. If that's so, I may get German citizenship after all, so I can immigrate to France! <grin>

    •  I wholeheartedly agree! Thank you! (11+ / 0-)

      I was floored to read that crap on the rec list. I just finished writing my own diary. I went the snark route, even though I'm really bad at it. Yours is much better. It's just so incredible that Pluto got rec-listed. Thank you for speaking out.

    •  I sympathize with your point (39+ / 0-)

      and tipped and recced you.

      But I also tipped and recced that diary, although it's true that renouncing U.S. citizenship is obviously against the mission statement. That was partly because the diary was so well written, but more because Pluto indicts the U.S. in very clear terms that deserve reflection and discussion (I often rec things not because I agree with the views of the diarist but simply to encourage a discussion that I think can be useful). And while it's easy to dismiss Pluto's words, due to her conclusions, it really behooves us to think her indictments through clearly.

      We should also recognize that Pluto isn't the only person who's chosen to leave the U.S. and that the trend is likely to accelerate in the future, as the American empire increasingly falls, in both economic and military terms. For example, when I visited Beijing in 2004, I found that there were already a fair number of American expatriates living there - mostly Chinese-Americans, but not a few Anglos - because China is a new Land of Opportunity.

      We have to understand that we can choose to continue living irresponsibly and putting our fingers in foreign countries' eyes, thereby engendering enraged acts of revenge as American power wanes and we become increasingly at the mercy of other powers, or we can become less wasteful and debt-ridden, start producing more things again, and act as a responsible member of the family of nations and upholder of international law, so that we can have a hope of a softer landing.

      If we end up like today's France, we will have done very well for ourselves. If, on the other hand, we end up like Spain in the 19th century, bereft at having lost its colonies, chronically economically depressed, despotic, and prey to a larger imperialist neighbor, it won't be pretty.

      •  Although I don't agree with Pluto's actions (17+ / 0-)

        I think Pluto's diary brings up many issues that desperately need to be openly discussed.

        Most Americans have no idea how the rest of the world lives (both good and bad) and are incapable of deciding whether the Canadian or French health care system works better than our own. And why is so much of political discourse influenced by religious fanaticism?

        The myth of American exceptionalism blinds many, many people to the extent of the problems our nation faces.

        Your mention of the history of Spain is spot own. We are living in the days of a declining empire and we face dangerous choices on how to meet future challenges.

        That's Countdown for the 2,082nd day since Mission Accomplished. You thought that would change? Are the troops home yet? Keith Olbermann January 20, 2009

        by Ed in Montana on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:45:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  IMO (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ed in Montana, chrississippi, catnip

          this is really all about the myth of American exceptionalism. The false idea that America is either always the best, or at least that it is easier to change it from within than to force it to improve through competitive pressure.

          The idea that if you own your home, you fix it and never move, is not one I agree with. In fact, I'd rather rent and have the flexibility to move to whatever city has the brightest opportunities. If my landlord doesn't treat me right, or if my city isn't run efficiently, I'll move to a better place, if I can find one that will welcome me.

          The reason my employer treats me well is that, if he doesn't, I'll quit and go elsewhere. The reason my government doesn't give a damn what I think is, I pay taxes regardless of my opinions, and I'm not likely to leave. As soon as the mistreated middle class makes clear that we will move to countries that aren't run for the sake of their elites, the leadership will have to take us seriously. The elite can't maintain their lifestyle without an underpaid work force to exploit.

          We are living in the days of a collapsing empire. At best our economy is not growing. Thus, we're all going to be fighting over a fixed pie. If one guy gets richer, it will be by taking from someone else. This is a directly result incompetent government policies, and policies that favor the elites at the expense of the overall society.

          America is likely no longer the land of best opportunity. The best opportunities in the future will likely be elsewhere. If an individual decides that another country is run more effectively, and therefore that their efforts will yield greater results elsewhere, IMO they have a responsibility to try to move there. To me it is irresponsible to instead keep working where your efforts principally support an incompetent parasitic elite power structure.

          You never forget where you came from. But that doesn't mean that you should be stuck there forever, either.

          You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

          by Opakapaka on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:06:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not the middle class (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ed in Montana

            Your comment is intelligent, and I respect the thought that went into formulating and typing it out, but I think you may be falling into a propaganda trap that's very entrenched in American discourse and, I'm sorry to say, indoctrination. The cheap labor force is by definition not the "middle class," but the poor. And the larger story of what's happened to domestic labor in the last 40 years is that the actual middle class has increasingly disappeared, not by picking up and leaving, but because the good jobs disappeared, to be largely replaced by either automation or cheaper labor in foreign countries.

            •  aoeu (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ed in Montana, MichaelNY

              Per Judith Martin:

              There are three social classes in America: upper middle class, middle class, and lower middle class.

              There is no class war in America, because there are no classes--there is only middle class, by definition. If you have a job with a salary that is both non-exorbitant and above minimum wage, then you are middle class.

              That CEO earning 400 times what his average employee earns is not doing the work of 400 men. His salary comes from the efforts of his middle class employees, and not from exploiting the poor. That 25% profit margin that your tech company returns to rich shareholders comes from the efforts of its middle class employees, and not from the poor.

              The middle class is disappearing because we have not made an effort to preserve it--via subsidizing education, via progressive taxation, etc. Instead we do exactly the opposite--we cut taxes on the rich, encourage the middle class to borrow and spend way beyond their means, and then pass bankruptcy legislation to make it difficult for them to have debt forgiven when they get in over their heads. We allow corporate union-busting, but refuse to bust up corporate monopolies. So the median wage stagnates, while CEO wages and shareholder profits of domestic corporations increase rapidly.

              The economy has stopped growing because we have an economy whose backbone is middle class consumption, and a middle class who can no longer afford to increase their purchases. We live in a country whose policies are destroying the middle class, and by design.

              IMO if members of the middle class can find a better job in a country with public health care, stronger progressive taxation, more aggressive anti-trust enforcement, stronger financial regulations, and more highly subsidized post-secondary education, then I don't see why they should stick around. Clearly it would seem in their economic interests not to.

              You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

              by Opakapaka on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:44:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Judith Martin is wrong (0+ / 0-)

                Except that it would seem to me that she's describing a social fiction, rather than an economic reality. So are you, to a significant extent, when you say that if you earn more than the minimum wage, you aren't poor. That is false, and the reason it's false is due to the ever-increasing prevalence of part-time and temp work and jobs that provide no medical insurance.

                Much of the other things you post are true and useful, but do please consider that tech companies are largely outsourcing as much work as possible to countries where labor is cheaper, so this tech company you describe is hardly typical of American workplaces.

      •  I never left America behind. (9+ / 0-)

        I took it with me and continued building on that richness of experience, and heritage, in trying to forge ANSWERS for the challenges that we all face. As Americans and as human beings.

        As in other aspects of life, there are as many reasons to fight on as there are to give up.

        This site is for the fighters.

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

        by beijingbetty on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:46:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nobody can leave their past behind (5+ / 0-)

          That was the other thing that struck me about Pluto's diary.  Putting a few thousand miles between one's self and a problem helps, but it's not a cure.  

          I know an Iraqi who is half-Kurdish and half-Arab, and who left Iraq because he felt that whatever Iraq was, it was broken forever.  He was a torture survivor.  He felt Iraq had rejected him as much as he had rejected Iraq. So he fled and ended up a refugee in Canada.

          He changed his name to Cameron McKenzie, but he never could escape Iraq.  He was still Iraqi, and neither the thin verneer of evangelical christianity nor the aggressive adoption of a foreign name and culture could really save him. Tragic character.  Still, I respect his decision to leave and suspect that he had more cause than our friend Pluto.  But geographic separation sometimes seems a better solution in the abstract.

          "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

          by ivorybill on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:37:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is a heartbreaking story. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill, MichaelNY

            I always try to remember, and to encourage in others, who they are, and where they are going...

            In some ways China is undergoing a McKenzie-like transformation, as a society without memory (or rather a highly selective memory)...

            No one knows exactly what the future holds. Fear makes us do funny things.

            But in the end, our only responsibility is to act from where we stand.

            As Americans, our burden is a little unique because we and our compatriots do not seem to know our own strengths. Our media, rather than illuminating us, keeps us in a perpetual fog. And what a chilling example we serve for those who struggle for the soul of China as well... We can and do stand for so much good. Our just criticisms should not make us blind to that.

            The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

            by beijingbetty on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:28:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think your witnessing up close (5+ / 0-)

              the changes in China - some of them hopeful, some of them frightening - is a valuable perspective to bring to this diary.  All of Pluto's criticisms of the US are valid, but we also forget that there are real strengths in America and that we do have a huge impact.  I write this only 100km from the Iranian border, and I know many Iranians.  They are under no illusions about the US role in supporting the Shah and overthrowing Mossadegh.  They have their suspicions of the US.  So many Iranians are as acutely aware of the weaknesses of the US as is Pluto.  But they also see the strength.  They saw that we did elect Obama, even if he is flawed and half the people at DKos have turned against him, and they crave a democracy as imperfect as our own. We still have more freedoms than many of us on the left realize, and the ideals are still powerful.  Some will criticise that as drivel, but from where I sit - inside Iraq and almost within sight of Iran - it still holds true.

              "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

              by ivorybill on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:20:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  He did have more cause (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Lots of products of "mixed marriages" and the couples themselves have been, if we use American terms, lynched in Iraq. Of course, the media reports it as "terrorism," which was just as good a description of lynching, when it was endemic to the U.S.

      •  very well expressed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        totally agree with you

    •  The author of the other diary makes (19+ / 0-)

      a more than a few valid points. American society is extremely militarized in comparison with most European countries- where healthcare is not controversial and the death penalty has been unheard of for decades. America locks up more of its own people than most of the rest of the world combined.  

      That said, as an expat living outside America for most of my life, I do very much care about it and its future very much.  The choice, whether to leave a country when it "malfunctions" is one which has plagued citizens of various origins for as long as countries have existed.

      I agree that it is extremely important for good people to stay in America and not to leave it to the right-wing crazies. One example among many: Werner Heisenberg (the physicist) chose to stay in Germany during WWII even though he had the chance to leave. Years later, he said (if I remember correctly) it was to make sure a few good people stayed around. Of course, people accused him of collaborating with the Nazis to try and make an atom bomb and I'm not sure that issue has been fully resolved.  

      Freedom is not a game whereby the one who waves a flag the hardest has the most of it.

      by FudgeFighter on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:32:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This country was built by people (19+ / 0-)

        who fled what they couldn't stand things at home.  Why should anyone be surprised if they fly in a different direction?

        "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

        by winterbanyan on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:45:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's funny and true! (4+ / 0-)

          Freedom is not a game whereby the one who waves a flag the hardest has the most of it.

          by FudgeFighter on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:01:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That was my first defense of Pluto (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          limulus, zett, FudgeFighter

          and other's decisions to move. Most of those who criticize him for "quitting" (there are other points to disagree on, but I'm referring to this one) likely had ancestors who came from countries worse off for a better life here. That was what was supposed to be great about America. Life was so much better here, please come in. That wasn't quite true as many immigrants realized once getting here, but it was their choice to come here to escape problems in their home country (not including slaves and indentured servants).

          Pluto made the mistake of not suggesting s/he wants to fight for a better America even abroad. Even if s/he did not intend to return, a better America is good for everyone, those living in it, and people around the world. Atm, we can't fully escape the US no matter where you live. The global economic crisis is a perfect example.

          "All [US govt model based countries], without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." - Bruce Ackerman

          by PoxOnYou on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:54:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Heisenberg was indeed involved (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        condorcet, FudgeFighter

        in Hitler's nuclear project, IIRC. (Sorta like he was their Oppenheimer, actually.)

        “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

        by Jyrinx on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:23:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I think he also (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          condorcet, FudgeFighter, Jyrinx

          made secret efforts to thwart the project, deliberately making mathematical mistakes, etc...

          UNless, of course, that theory has been discredited.

          •  Urban legend (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WaveFunction, Jyrinx

            This is something the German scientists concocted after the war to save face.

            The reality is, they miscalculated several important nuclear interaction cross-sections, and concluded that a nuke would have to be far too large to ever be dropped as a bomb.

            The British were discretely spying on the German scientists being held prisoner when they got the news of the American bomb, and immediately realized their mistake and redid the calculations.

            •  Saying it was concocted to save face (0+ / 0-)

              is more plausible than saying he deliberately made miscalculations. That said, I still know of no concrete proof one way or the other.

              Freedom is not a game whereby the one who waves a flag the hardest has the most of it.

              by FudgeFighter on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:53:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The proof is that the British had the (0+ / 0-)

                scientists in custody, and were recording their conversations when they learned of the American bomb.

                The same German scientists who later said they were sabotaging the effort, in reality, were both excited and surprised that the Americans made it work, and immediately realized their mistake.

                Said tapes were only declassified a decade or so ago.

                •  O.k., I read Heisenberg's autobiography (0+ / 0-)

                  about 15 years ago and hadn't heard about the recorded conversations. In any case, the claim here is that he deliberately tried to make mistakes, etc.- not that there were others in Germany (perhaps even several as a part of his own team) who really were trying to make it.  

                  Freedom is not a game whereby the one who waves a flag the hardest has the most of it.

                  by FudgeFighter on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:46:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  WWII is a good analogy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        limulus, zett, FudgeFighter

        IIRC, there were those who fled Germany and those who stayed behind and I'm not sure Hitler could have been defeated had not there been both types of resistance.

        Those who migrated lived to tell the tales that only seemed like far-off rumors to many here who didn't want to become involved in another European war. The reality of what harm facism (unbridled corporatism) could inflict upon the world didn't seem like serious concerns until people like Einstein arrived and began to speak out.

        But many of those who stayed risked their lives to protect those who were hunted and to eventually bear witness against those hunters. Their descendents today probably tell many great and wonderful tales of heroism. I doubt very much they consider those who fled as traitors.

        I agree with many of Pluto's points and I've felt his urge to flee and give up many times. His diary opened a door in my mind..."Wow, you could probably do the same're NOT trapped as you think..."

        Which made me imagine really leaving. Which then made me realize I've now made a fully-conscious decision to stay.

        One of things I love about DKos is the input we often get from those who do not live in the US. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest if one is in it and I think they keep us more honest.

        A flurry of ex-pats speaking out against the corruption and corportism that has taken over American politics cannot be an all together bad thing. (And I am not Obama-bashing...I still have great hope that he sees and is trying to steer the country away from where unfettered corporatism would take us.) I think there is room and roles for both in our movement.

    •  I read the diary in question carefully (38+ / 0-)

      shortly after posting my own several hours ago.  My immediate reaction was negative, even as the author jad clearly put a lot of effort into the diary, and offered a lot of useful information.

      I wanted to be certain my immediate reaction was not misplaced.

      I decided, after reading the beginning of what was then a much shorter comment threat, that I would not join in.  But I was saddened at the number of people who thought it worthy of elevation.   It is possible to discuss a flawed diary, even as one affirms its good points, without having to offer it the seeming commendation of recommendation.

      I have recommended diaries with which I disagreed because I thought they were worthy of serious discussion.  It became clear looking at a few of the comments by the diarist that discussion was not welcome unless it offered support for the position of the diary.  I chose not to engage, but to apply my few remaining brain cells elsewhere.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:34:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well, i didnt rec the diary even though (20+ / 0-)

      i'm planning to emigrate to Canada myself.

      I didn't like the diary. The whole genealogy thing was weird to me but everybody has their own issues, I guess.

      I also didnt really dig the thing about not wanted to be an american. I respect Pluto's right to feel that way and to renounce, but, again, it just seemed defensive, angry, over the top t me.  Everybody has their issues.

      Thought the tone was a bit sanctimonious and i am not surprised it drew the ire it did.

      didnt hr either though.

      I read the comments, found them interesting.

      though i'm emigrating (very early stages of it), i'm not keen on giving up my citizenship.  i will still vote and try to do what i can to make life better for those who dont enjoy the option to leave, as I do. it is a privilege to be able to even make a choice but i still feel i have a moral obligation toward those who dont have that choice and must stay. as disappointed as I sometimes feel in my country, it is still my country and I have some responsibilities to those who live there.  I'm not better or worse.

      It's a tough decision to make. I cannot imagine actually renouncing citizenship.  It was hard enough for me with tear streaked face to realize that, indeed I may have to move away. that is a very scary and very sad thing when it becomes real.  

      for me, sadly, i do have to make a choice between staying here and fighting for things that should be common sense or recognizing that i have only one life and i have responsibilities to myself, my family and those who would work for my business. my bottom line: if health care doesnt pass or is inadequate, i will have no choice but to leave. i cannot afford to do business in america in a way that agrees with my sense of responsibility to people i will be hiring as my company expands from its present position to one that actually has up to 30 or so full time employees.  I cannot offer employment to people with lives and families without the security of health care.  i just can't.  I cant see staying here and risking years of hard work growing this company in this wonderful land of opportunity, (risk it and the lives of everyone who will work for it) all because of a weak health policy that could force me to sell the company to pay for treatment of an unfortunate cancer diagnosis? I cant see it.  So all the opportunity and success would be in vain?  

      For me,  these are serious issues and at the end of the day, i have to  be able to live with myself. how can I hire people to work and not provide basics such as decent health care? How can I do that and not care about it?  And yet, as it stands in the US today, I simply cannot afford to do it. Im working for change, but realistically I have to think several steps down the road.  I have to think about today and tomorrow.  On my last trip to Toronto, on the last day, I cried. I cried because it became real that i might have to leave my own country and settle in a city/a country that I love but which isn't my own.   It broke my heart. The thought of migrating is scary and very sad. very very sad for me. but i dont see any other way.

      •  Interesting (7+ / 0-)

        I wonder how many start-ups are choosing to set up shop in Canada just so their employees can get adequate health care.

        The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

        by DowneastDem on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:54:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My respect for you is enormous. (9+ / 0-)

        What a courageous, caring thing to do.

        Wish you'd mail this to every Congress Critter and the WH.

        All of my three adult children work. Two of them are also back in school. Those two cannot afford health care insurance. And one of them has struggled with a forever life threatening health issue for over thirty years.  One of his closest friends is now living in Greek Cyprus and has always wanted him to come over and visit. We've reached the point where in order for my child to have the health care he so desperately needs, moving to Europe may be necessary.

        Yes, I stay and fight for my country.
        But my country abandoned my son long years ago.

        I can understand those who make the heartbreaking decision to leave.

        Isn't trusting the Insurance Industry, Big Pharma, and Congress with Health Care Reform, like trusting Wall Street with the economy? Or did I miss something?

        by Onomastic on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:03:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i didnt mail it to my senator (5+ / 0-)

          Bill Nelson (FL) and WH as well.

          I am thinking of writing it by hand and mailing it to Obama's office as well.

        •  i do plan to take a few americans with me (5+ / 0-)

          the requirement is that i hire at least one canadian full time. I think i would be happy with a 50/50 mix canadian/american if I can do that. so when i start hiring here, it may be part of the job requirement that they be willing and sble to relocate to canada. i'm speaking with an attorney about all this. its complicated and sad, really. i so so wish i didnt have to think this way.

          •  When there are no choices left, what we do (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mdmslle, NuttyProf

            is what we have to do.

            If it wasn't for the grandbabies I'd be thinking about joining you.

            They're the reason I stay and fight.
            At least for now.

            If public option does not pass, I reserve the right to rethink that.

            Isn't trusting the Insurance Industry, Big Pharma, and Congress with Health Care Reform, like trusting Wall Street with the economy? Or did I miss something?

            by Onomastic on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:03:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Can you detail the finances around this? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            With marginal rates from 21%-43% in personal income and corporate rates comparable to the US (unless you are a CCPC) the breakeven point with insurance for families is around 37K. If you have all families and pay more than ~37K the total cost to employees + you will be less in the US.

            If most of your employees are single, then the breakeven point is much lower - around 15K.

            I would be curious to see the #'s that help you to arrive at the #.

            Companies like ADP or Administaff provide PEO services that put your company into a large pool that really helps with costs.

            •  i live in cental FL (6+ / 0-)

              i'm in the production business (TV and broadband).

              up until now, most projects involved hiring people on  contract basis and were intermittent enough that it didnt warrant a full time staff or studio set up.

              now, we are looking at a real expansion that would necessitate these things.  because of the dynamics of the type of production we will be doing, i wont have huge major studio-like margins. For each program or show we will be producing, there will be a staff of 4 to 8 people. We have 4 show in development.  In my central florida town, i could hire and train people for about 40k full time and that would be considered a GREAT GREAT job. But the thing is that i cannot be restricted to only hiring young single people. This job will require some level of experience and frankly i welcome older experienced professionals.  So when i was putting together financials the cost for health benefits for a family is what i requested. I could be less if i hire a 20 year old college kid, but for projecting what I needed to get running I used a "worst case scenario", and unfortunately, in the US that means older people with families and obvious health problems (is applicant overweight?) get discriminated against and already I didnt like that train of thought, see?

              Well, i got the quotes back from several insurers and they ranged from 1500 to 2800 a month per family. That nearly DOUBLES my expenditure. So on average 2000/month per employee.  Let's assume 25 employees. thats 50K a month. I cannot see spending that when it could be used better to provide onsite day care or educational reimbursement for my people. I could be used to attend important conferences, increase salaries, purchase better equipment, develop MORE programs which would allow us to hire more people.  We're a talking about an average of 600,000 a year JUST FOR HEALTH CARE! And this I would do voluntarily?

              To me its not even close to break even but I am speaking with an attorney about it all. The bottom line is I will not (cannot) in good conscience hire people on a full time basis without providing them with a decent quality of life as much as I can. Unlike republicans I cannot hire someone for 6.50 an hour and enjoy cruising in Porta Cervo. I cant even imagine working with my employees or greeting them in the morning knowing that if their kid had a biking accident they'd be thousands of dollars our of pocket. I also cannot allow our broken system to drive who i favor in the application and hiring process. That's just sick. I'm not sure all the tax ramifications but thats something i;m looking into. The fact is however, that taxes arent the only issue. The health care costs act effectively as a tax and they are ever rising. S containment i very important.  Equally important is the actual nitty gritty of the reform that comes out. If 1000/month is considered affordable, I'll need to crunch numbers again and re-examine it. Right now there's not much to go by and frankly, im not terribly optimistic.

              I'm sick about the fact that I may actually have to do this. Believe me, at 41 years old I am not looking forward to uprooting my life and moving to a country i know very little about just because of this. I KNOW america. I know where everything is, what people are like in those places. I KNOW my country. I dont know Canada and i'm not excited having to consider moving there and basically starting a new life. Its scary and disappointing. especially in the growth phase of a company when there's so much transition and flux anyway.

              •  suggest you go on CBC website and see DVD's (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mdmslle, Onomastic

                re Canadian history, politics, etc.  Very, Very informative

                A brilliant history of Canada: get all 4 sets

              •  Im surprised at those rates (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Even when we were in our own pool, a $0 deductible, 0% co pay plan was at most around 800-900/month.

                I think you need to find a new insurance broker or hook up with administaff or ADP.

                Im pretty sure that we didnt even have to list preexisting conditions when we signed up and we have been through 3 health companies, aetna, bcbs and united health care.

                I work with about 30 business owners and no one pays more than about 1200/month for their family plan.

                •  thanks. i'll look into it (0+ / 0-)

                  i got quotes from three insurance companies but since there arent actual employees the rates are list. I imagine that once actual people sign up it could deviate from that somewhat but how would i know beforehand?

                  also not sure if there's a regional difference between FL and TX so who knows how they determine rates. All I know is what I was quoted. I was blown away.

                  •  Check out Arizona, we have a sort of public (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    option for small business to expand the risk pool and it is considerably cheaper than private insurance. Also we have tax breaks available for film/TV production and here in Pima county a fairly capable workforce in this field due to Old Tucson studios and the like.

                    Pima County is a heavily Democratic area with our Congressman Raul Grijalva, the second in command of the House Progressive caucus.

                    Plus it's an absolutely beautiful area with a fairly low cost of living and a friendly climate both personal and business. We have a major research university that has a film school and some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. A little hot in the summer but usually the humidity is low so it's really not that bad.

                    There is a state office that deals with film and the like, I'm not sure of the name but a little googling will get you there.

                    Take a look at us here in Tucson, you might be surprised at how we stack up.......

        •  Health care is my biggest fear coming back (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, Onomastic

          I have a pre-existing condition. It costs a fortune without health insurance, and quite a lot even with it. I've had it my whole life and have been in exceptional health. I moved and live abroad now and have no problems with health insurance.

          But I want to go back to school. I can't do so in the US because I'll need a full time job for insurance. I'm looking into options in Europe now. I'm not excited to leave America behind, my entire family lives there, and I have a shared cultural identity with many people, but that's where I am.

          "All [US govt model based countries], without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." - Bruce Ackerman

          by PoxOnYou on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 09:07:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Canada (5+ / 0-)

        Canada will frustrate you in other ways, guaranteed.

        However, there are a lot of good things going for it besides heath care, the biggest of which are the smaller gap between rich and poor, and the importance of community rights in comparison to individual rights.

        Of course you can always go back on weekends and unfortunately Canada is dominated by American TV (so I don't have a TV).

        I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong- Feynman

        by taonow on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:18:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i have no utopian illusions about Canada (9+ / 0-)

          but they things you mentioned are strikingly obvious even in the few times i've visited there. There seems to be a sense of community right AND responsibilities there.

          Wanna hear a funny story? I watched their version of COPS last time i was in country. the way it was there was so different than the way it is on ours.  These types of shows are often interesting to watch because you can learn a lot about how  country views criminal or illegal behavior, how police and citizens interact, how those around the scene are involved, and how much worse it likely is when the cameras arent around. :)

          It was telling that these cops spent so much time TALKING to the offenders.  I noticed stark differences in the way the obvsiouly mentally ill are treated. I noticed a different more preventative attitude by the cops toward those they confronted. It sparked a discussion with my retired cop (but very liberal) husband about one lady who was so drunk her boyfriend called the cops to get her out of his home. She was hostile and the diffused it. THEN they drove here home!!! Walked her to the door!!! My husband and I talked about how this behavior, besides never ever happening in america, probably prevented her from getting into her OWN car and killing herself or someone else on the ride home.

          I have no illusions about any country being a utopia. But there are some very basic things I believe contribute to higher quality of life that I believe I can find in Canada. Health care being only one of them.

          •  and few guns (4+ / 0-)

            Outside of a few rural pockets and maybe Alberta there is no love lost for guns. No "I have my right to bear arms". Thankfully ... it does make a difference.

            For more indoctrination into Canadian ways watch the Canadian sitcom - "Corner Gas" ... episodes on YouTube.

            I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong- Feynman

            by taonow on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:14:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I, too, have no utopian illusions about Canada (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            taonow, zett, noema

            just a hope for a clearer conscience.

            My wife and I are college educated professionals with good paying jobs, health care, our own home. We have been fighting for progressive ideals since we were teenagers. We still have a home and jobs as our state of California crumbles around us.

            We just received word that our visas to become permanent residents in Canada have been approved, and we expect to relocate permanently just as soon as we can sell our house and find jobs. (this may take a year or two).

            We are leaving to withdraw our  passive support (via taxes) for illegal wars, state secrets, wiretaps, torture, and billionaire bailouts. (we will still have to file taxes, but our incomes will be reduced significantly, and will fall below the foreign tax credit threshold, and thus, we will pay no US taxes). Yes, I know Canadians are fighting in Afghanistan, but the military slice of the tax pie is much smaller than in the US; that's why they can afford health care for all.

            We are in our 50's, and feel things have deteriorated (esp. in CA) to the point that they cannot be repaired within our lifetimes, if ever. Are we being self-serving by "fleeing" across the border? Perhaps, but while we are not refugees fleeing from war or persecution, we do seek refuge from the injustice and imbalance between rich and poor. We both work in healthcare/mental health, and have grown heartbroken and weary seeing more and more fall through the cracks of the supposed "safety net". Perhaps we can do some good helping others in our new community in BC.

            We will still speak out about progressive issues we believe in. We will not be expatriates, but rather, patriots-in-exile.

        •  v. interested to know how you think (0+ / 0-)

          Canada will frustrate?  tx  is this from personal experience?

          •  Well (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I am Canadian but have also lived in other places so I guess I would say that every place will in some ways frustrate you.

            In Canada: - the weather. Winter and summer are fine but for a few months every year everything is BROWN - boring. Things pretty much run like clockwork, so not much "excitement" from the unexpected. - warmth. Unlike Americans who tend to be quite friendly initially, Canadians are far more reserved (or as my wife would say - "preserved") so it can take quite a while to build up a circle of good friends. (I think it has something to do with being cooped up all winter). - hockey - you had better like/follow it.

            All in all pretty minor points ... a great place for raising kids, though once they are grown I think we will head to more exciting climes.

            I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong- Feynman

            by taonow on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:13:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  tx. Are Canadians friendly to immigrants? (0+ / 0-)

              I mean ones who are not 'ugly Americans'?  Are Canadians more friendly in Ontario or west or east? I thought that because Canada was an immigrant society that it would be possible for someone going there to more easily form relationships?

              Yeah, I get the hockey thing.  I guess if someone wants to immigrate, they might as well suck it up and learn to like it, eh?  :-)

              Thanks for the response.

              •  Immigrants (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                As far as I understand more than 50% of the population of Toronto was not born in Canada, so yup you will find a lot of immigrants wherever you look/work/play. It does seem to take some time for the groups to mix, but kids now are pretty much growing up in a colour blind society, at least in the bigger urban areas. You definitely won't stand out as an immigrant. In fact in Toronto it is often hard to figure out what continent you are on by looking at the mix of people around you.

                Of course go two hours down the road to rural Ontario and it can be a different story. Pretty plain vanilla.

                I was joking a bit about hockey. I no longer follow it (after being immersed as a kid), but in many circles it is a major topic of conversation...and if you want to meet lost of folks be out at the rink at 6:00am on a Saturday watching you kid play, with a cup of Tim Hortons coffee for yourself of course.

                I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong- Feynman

                by taonow on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:31:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Welcome to Canada (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                We are more reserved but friendly and concerned.  Weather is not much different than N. US in most places.  The prairie provinces and the maritimes are the most friendly, especially Saskatchewan and Alberta

                •  thanks for comment; not there yet, definitely (0+ / 0-)

                  checking out Toronto area and will let the decision unfold.  

                  ....btw, recently learned about your namesake and I, well, developed a serious admiration crush on Trudeau....  Never knew about him before, beyond name recognition, but now have a series of dvds on him and am deeply impressed at the knowledge and vision he brought to his job.  I hope I am not overly idealizing him.

                  It seems like Ignatieff is similar from the point of view of culture and education; don't really know about the man.

                  Of course, Tommy Douglas is hugely impressive, too.

            •  disagree (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Unlike Americans who tend to be quite friendly initially, Canadians are far more reserved (or as my wife would say - "preserved") so it can take quite a while to build up a circle of good friends.

              I disagree. It depends where you live.

              - hockey - you had better like/follow it.

              Nope. I haven't followed it since the days of Bobby Orr and no one's taken away my citizenship yet.

              If you want to highlight one major difference that I think keeps Canada more sane than the US (besides the gun laws and not having a death penalty and medicare), I'd cite our hate speech laws. Let the haters die in the shadows.

              "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

              by catnip on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 02:30:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  How much is too much for health insurance? (0+ / 0-)

        I have 20 full time employees and families are around 750/month and individuals are around 250/month for a plan that has a 250 deductible and no co-payment (100%/0). Copays for pharms and dr's visits are around $30

        •  Same as France (0+ / 0-)

          What you just wrote is close to what the French pay for their insurance except they actually pay more because, if you were a French company, you, as the employer, would have to contribute another $1,300 per employee on top of what your employees are already paying.  Deductibles are still in place, too.  And the costs are rising.

    •  He? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A lot of people posting to this thread are using "he" to describe Pluto. I'd like all of you to think about why you are doing that. I've used "she" because I saw people in her thread use that pronoun for her. Is Pluto actually a man?

    •  Rec'ed, but not tipped. (13+ / 0-)

      Because I think the discussion is worth having,  but your argument is seriously lame.

      I've been doing engineering for almost 40 years,  and the most important lesson I've learned from it is that anything you make,  whether it's a software program,  a physical product,  or a political argument,  will fail unless you base it on what the facts are,  not what you want them to be.

      To keep that grounding in reality,  it's essential that you have your assumptions challenged.  In engineering,  we do it with design reviews,  prototyping,  and field testing.

      It politics,  we do it by testing our ideas,  arguments,  and conclusions against those of people with different values,  assumptions,  and facts that we either didn't know,  or whose importance we didn't recognize.

      So,  it's really important to have diaries and comments appear here that many/most disagree with,  because that's how we get things (more) right.  And it's how we better understand the people who disagree with us,  which is an essential part of coming up with policies and methods that will work in a diverse society.

      Even though your differing values may lead you to completely opposite conclusions from Pluto's based on the same facts,  his/her eloquent presentation of a different path of reasoning is thought-provoking,  and that's A Good Thing (tm).

      •  This is exactly right (0+ / 0-)

        One of the most difficult things about programs at the federal level is that it is hard to run experiments. One of the best things about the US is that most programs are supposed to be at the state level. This means we get 50 examples of various programs to see what works best.

    •  Honestly (5+ / 0-)

      I recommend diaries that I disagree with all the time, if they are well-written, informative, and raise questions that I think are worthy of discussion.

    •  kestrel (6+ / 0-)

      I rec'd Pluto's diary for the emotion and work that was put into it. Giving a diary a rec doesn't mean that you agree with all the sentiments in it.

      I've felt the same way at times. I've been ready to put my hands in the air and walk away, sometimes the role of Sisyphus gets to you, hell I live in Utah.

      Being an American and a citizen of the world are sometimes at odds with each other. Are we the great super power or the snake? When you look at our footprint it's hard to tell.

      I've felt myself overcome by patriotic fervor and by shame, but put to the test when asked, "yes, I'm a Yank." I'm part of this big ol' gorilla and trying to do right by it.

      I don't believe that the reasons Pluto has for wanting out are valid. I can find few places in the world where the same crimes and the same shames and the same selfish boobishness isn't just as ugly. Maybe it's just on a smaller scale, we really blow it when we blow it. But, we also really do it up great when the mood takes us.

      This year I stood with tears streaming as my German friend took the oath and became my German/American friend. She wanted to be a part of us and her reasons were the same reasons I'm proud to be an American.

      I don't fault Pluto for doing the reverse of what my friend did, one's path is one's path. That's the beauty of this place, freedom to choose the road we tread.

      "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

      by high uintas on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:27:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll be the first to "return the favor", k9K (16+ / 0-)

      The diary of which you speak constitutes a cognitive, meaningful piece; well-thought-out and detailed, also explaining in depth as to why the diarist has made a particular decision.

      It is a decision that many have made over the years: seeking a more meaningful path to their lives.

      Each and every one of the reasons cited by Pluto for leaving the US are not only real, but growing in both girth and darkness.

      Just as our forebears came to this land, seeking a better life for themselves and theirs by leaving what they, at the time, called home, then so, too does Pluto now seek to do nothing more than the exact same thing.

      Expressing a deep, personal desire to escape the darkness for the light is---dare I say it to your virtual face?---a matter of unfettered expression and speech, which as of the last time I checked was still protected under Amendment One of the Constitution to these United States.

      The diarist has done nothing but exercise the Right that is guaranteed under that Amendment and, for doing so, gets HR'd merely for daring to express a well-articulated opinion which you personally find "disgusting"?

      How, might I inquire, does this differ from what the United States---a land for which you have, over the years, expressed such fervent defense---has suffered under the recent tyrannies of what I commonly refer to as "Bushylvanianism"?

      How does your diary, with its microcosm-esque cherry-picking of a few mere lines from a plethora of interdependent prose, differ from the regurgitatory diatribes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Rielly, Michele Bachmann, and all the rest of the whacked-out Right?

      Just as they have wrapped themselves in the flag and espoused their venom, declaring that those who dare disagree with them have no place within their "defined" community, I find that you, friend kestrel, have now wrapped yourself in not only one flag, but two---the American flag, and the Kos flag---and now stand ready to leap down from the precipice, down into the bottomless abyss of a similar rabbit hole.

      Therefore, for the following comments:

      There is a diary on the recommended list that I feel strongly has no place on Daily Kos.

      I am disgusted that members of a community that has been the center of my online universe for nearly four years now would praise that diary and elevate it to the top of the Recommended list.

      In my view, it is a blight on this site.

      I find that there is no reasonable alternative available in the spirit of discourse than to answer censorship with censorship.

      Finally, k, kindly consider the scenario I propose before you demand that someone "fix their ceiling":

      If the land that you have called "home" were to be struck by a massive disaster; one so tumultuously gargantuan in nature that your house; your neighborhood; your entire intrinsic community were demolished beyond repair---would you still demonstrate the acute stubbornness of "fixing the ceiling"?

      Remember Katrina? I know a lot of people who won't be "fixing the ceiling" anytime soon.  Most merely moved away.  A few weren't quite so lucky.

      It is important to understand, if nothing else is ever understood again, that for some people, what the United States has become---and is still becoming to an even greater degree---makes Katrina look like a sunny day in the old French Quarter.  They become the refugee, putting what they can carry into the cart, hitching up the donkey, and heading down the road, away from the coming storm of war.  It's been done for thousands of years, and it'll be done today, as well.

      One would think that THAT would be understood within this community by now....

      The only good freeper is the one found at the bottom of an ocean....

      by Liberal Panzer on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:30:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brilliant... (4+ / 0-)

        and beautiful.

      •  WTF (9+ / 0-)

        This has got to be one of the worst-written comments I've ever read.  I'm not even talking about the content.  I'm talking about the prose.

        the reasons cited by Pluto for leaving the US are not only real, but growing in both girth and darkness

        "Girth" is usually applied to people, sometimes to animals or trees, never to abstract "reasons".  It sounds like you have something against large-bodied, dark-skinned people.

        its microcosm-esque cherry-picking of a few mere lines from a plethora of interdependent prose

        Never use the word "plethora".  It makes you sound like a freshman with a new thesaurus.  Nor should you ever coin new words by tacking the suffix -esque on them.  It makes you sound like Maureen Dowd (and that's not a good thing).  "Microcosm" means "a world in miniature".  I suspect that's not what you meant, if you meant anything at all.

        Just as they have wrapped themselves in the flag and espoused their venom

        "Espouse" means "marry", or metaphorically "to support a cause wholeheartedly".  "Venom", either literally or metaphorically, is not a cause one can "espouse".

        Expressing a deep, personal desire to escape the darkness for the light is---dare I say it to your virtual face?---a matter of unfettered expression and speech, which as of the last time I checked was still protected under Amendment One of the Constitution to these United States.

        The diarist has done nothing but exercise the Right that is guaranteed under that Amendment and, for doing so, gets HR'd merely for daring to express a well-articulated opinion which you personally find "disgusting"?

        There's a good deal of unintended irony in quoting the United States Constitution to defend the intention of a person to leave the United States and the protections of that same Constitution.  But (as usual when people start to quote the First Amendment on blogs) the right of the person to express his or her views was never an issue.  People aren't saying that Pluto should be legally punished for "daring to express a.... opinion" but that they disagree with the opinion.  That's also protected by the First Amendment.

        •  "People" (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sychotic1, tbetz, SeaTurtle, Eireknight

          ...if I may dare to apply the term so loose, have called for Pluto's diary to be stricken from the record, based solely on its content.  kestrel's entire premise is based on the need to remove it, because it does not fit within his intrinsic worldview---which in and of itself fails to meet the criteria for issuing an HR upon a particular diary.  That was the premise of both my response, and my HR---and remains so.

          And upon recent examination, I find that the United States Constitution is no Berlin Wall.  It never was a Berlin Wall, and it never shall be a Berlin Wall.

          Do you suggest otherwise?

          The only good freeper is the one found at the bottom of an ocean....

          by Liberal Panzer on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:58:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do you know what a plethora is? (0+ / 0-)

          Call Congress and demand 2 Senators, 1 VOTING Rep, and full home rule for DC citizens. Anything less is un-American.

          by mistersite on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:05:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Regarding the English aspect of your critique... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Prognosticator, vcpnttp

 got it all wrong.  Looks to me like you headed to a dictionary and tried using literal meanings of words to attack the comment-writer.  There's nothing wrong with their use of language.  

          You just didn't like what they had to say and didn't really have an argument and as such... resorted to ... this.

      •  "a plethora of interdependent prose" n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kestrel9000, condorcet

        Learn more about second-class U.S. citizenship at

        by Larry Bailey on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:50:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm recommending your comment (3+ / 0-)

        for its sheer generosity of spirit.  

        But I do take slight issue with this:

        They become the refugee, putting what they can carry into the cart, hitching up the donkey, and heading down the road, away from the coming storm of war... One would think that THAT would be understood within this community by now....

        I've worked with refugees both within the United States and externally. Very few Americans would qualify for refugee status anywhere else in the world.  Conditions in the US, Pluto's diary notwithstanding, are not even remotely bad enough to spark a refugee exodus and having met so many refugees that really had no choice but to leave their lives behind, the comparison seems a little misplaced.

        "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

        by ivorybill on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:46:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you examine the opinion pages (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          valadon, tbetz, SeaTurtle

          and editorials coming out of Europe, I think you'll find a general concern regarding the issues brought up by Plato.  To many from outside the US, we're starting to slip toward the chaos that has enveloped the recent "genocidal spirit" of politics in such places as Cambodia during the nightmare that was Pol Pot.  They've seen the teabaggers calling for "hanging Obama" and the GOP politicians who, at those same rallies, did nothing to stop it.  They've seen the effigy-hangings; the gun-toters; the rise of hatred and Aryan-ish xenophobia.

          Europe has a better memory than we do; it is their history that reminds them of the dangerous parallels between those of our realm who today wrap themselves in nationalistic fervor----and those of theirs who did the same thing some seventy-five or so years ago.

          A proactive position in Europe to accept increased immigration of politically-leaning Progressives and Liberals from the US isn't really all that far-fetched these days, if you also take into consideration the recent steps to bar entry from the US to those of a more rabidly-leaning Conservative mindset....

          The only good freeper is the one found at the bottom of an ocean....

          by Liberal Panzer on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:20:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  how do Euro countries know whether an immigrant (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Liberal Panzer

            is liberal or conservative?  interested to know?

            •  Good question. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buckhorn okie, SeaTurtle

              Look at the foaming-at-the-jowls conservative mouthpieces who have been denied entry to European ports-of-entry just this year alone---and then consider that their easily-manipulated minions are quite unlikely to follow, when their rhetorical leaders are kept at bay.

              Also---as I look out at the current "face" of such minions, they lack the intellectual expertise and societal know-how to actually survive the immigration process.  Most of them demonstrate a profound fear of all things foreign.  Can you, for example, imagine your average dittohead driving on the left side of the road, singing "God Save the Queen", and paying for everything in Euros?

              The only good freeper is the one found at the bottom of an ocean....

              by Liberal Panzer on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:52:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Which is why the Panzer trundles (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            valadon, kestrel9000, tbetz

   Plato's defense.

            Let's get on the blunt side of things here.  I'd fight to the end of all ends, and then run the string out even further, for this country.  I'd take as many of the GOPer Hun fools with me as I could, if it came to an actual armed conflagration.  But when I read Plato's diary, and I saw how deep the despair has gone, I knew deep-down that I was looking into a depths on an individual for whom there could only be one recourse:  Emigration; to evacuate from harm's way before the maelstrom hits.

            And there should be no doubt that the maelstrom grows nearer to the point of striking.

            People sometimes lose the stomach for the fight. It's human nature; nothing else.  To tear into them because they won't stand the ground the way we want them to stand is ridiculous.

            Should we chastise others because they've not the stomach for the battle-at-hand; that it's somehow wrong for them to be tired of the mess, and only want to get away to somewhere less incendiary?  If so, then how would it be wrong for me to elevate kestrel's argument to an open demand the direct application of force against those who cry out for the use of force against members of the Progressive/Liberal community?

            That is how slippery slopes get started....

            The only good freeper is the one found at the bottom of an ocean....

            by Liberal Panzer on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:16:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Before the maelstrom hits" (0+ / 0-)

              Emigration; to evacuate from harm's way before the maelstrom hits.

              And there should be no doubt that the maelstrom grows nearer to the point of striking.

              Really you are a remarkable writer. Somebody could write a book filled with your malapropisms, and it might sell quite well.

              This time I'll leave it to you (or another reader) to figure out why maelstrom was not exactly the mot juste in these sentences.

              •  I think it is fairly appropriate (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Liberal Panzer

                to fear that the US ship of state is in imminent danger of being sucked into a huge whirlpool with a powerful downdraft.  Corruption and corporate control of our government certainly has the power to take us all down...

                You don't think water can "hit" or "strike"?

              •  I would imagine (0+ / 0-)

                ...that a good many within this community might justify the current economic and political conditions to which we are subjected to---the maniacal insanities of the Right, a quasi-defunct economic model, families falling like flies as they might relate to things like unemployment, homelessness, and no health care---as being caught within "a crushing current."

                Such is the "state of this Union", when so many have been beaten down to the point of simply not being able to garner the fortitude to care any more.  They simply want out of it; to be done with it; to wash their hands of it and say, "no more".  It is the damage most foul that the extremist Conservative craves dearly.

                How many millions are, within these United States of America, without adequate shelter tonight?

                Without enough to eat?

                With a sick child, but without the means to pay for medicine?

                Need I quote Dickens, and apply the queries of Scrooge---Are there no Prisons; are there no Workhouses?---or mightn't those, too, be considered "malapropisms" in what shows itself to be a grammatically-illiterate society?

                Given the demonstrable inability on this day alone of so many to function in the land of oratorical metaphor, one would think that I'd stumbled into the midst of a herd of inebriated teabaggers who'd just lost their guns, their gods, and their Rush Limbaugh Fan Club memberships....

                The only good freeper is the one found at the bottom of an ocean....

                by Liberal Panzer on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:35:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Just don't see it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            as that bad, yet.  And I'm not in proximity - actually, I am writing this from Iraq and I spend a good part of my time outside the US in countries that actually have experienced a breakdown in civil society.  

            Don't misunderstand me... I'm worried and do see a trend among that 20% that does seem like the first stages toward fascism.  And I support Pluto's right to leave the US.  What bothers me is (a) she's by no stretch of the imagination a refugee, either under international law or even a general definition of the term, and (b) the tone of the diary bugged me - a certain self-centeredness with all that bit about having to leave in order to "develop one's consciousness" in an environment free from people who are "too stupid" to have the vote.

            "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

            by ivorybill on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:34:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  excellent expression of piercing insight (0+ / 0-)
    •  You are one of my favorite diarists, (18+ / 0-)

      k9k, but I really believe you've missed the mark - badly - on this one.

      Your short rant smacks of jingoism and the same sort of "My country right or wrong" thinking that is all too characteristic of the worst of the Rethug morans at town halls screaming "I want my country back".

      Pluto's diary was really two diaries: a lengthy "procedural" and analysis of the idea of nationality, and a brief - but very accurate - indictment of the United States of America that you should not be so quick to run away from:

      1. Genocide -- I will not take my last breath in a nation the was violently founded on the blood-soaked soil of genocide. I see the evidence of what was done so recently to the Original American Population of this nation, and it haunts me every day.
      1. Crimes and Capital Punishment -- I will not live in a nation that sanctions the of murder its own people. Nor will I tolerate a nation that over-criminalizes human life and over-incarcerates its citizens.
      1. Socialism and Human Rights -- I will participate economically only in nations with the highest tax brackets, since such governments make their first priority the health, education, and welfare of the people.
      1. Civil and Cultural Chaos -- I will not live amongst, nor fight against, societies that vote against their own human rights and best interests. Nor will I live in a nation where the population is ignorant, armed, and indifferent to the suffering of others.
      1. Imperialism -- I will not tie my fate to a nation that attacks and occupies other sovereign nations and deliberately murders their citizens, no matter what the cause. Not will I share the fate of a nation that is nt a constructive participant in the interests of the world community and planetary concerns.
      1. Theocracy and Superstition -- I will not contaminate my spiritual nature living among people who are so in thrall of organized religion that they use it as a reference point in science, law, or government. Countries that ignore evangelicalism and public worship, and focus instead on values that spring from the needs and protections of humanity are a better fit for me.
      1. Public Arts and Aesthetics -- I will invest myself in a nation that is committed to aesthetics and art in public places; a nation where the arts are cherished and incorporated in all levels of civic life.
      1. Human-Scale Cities -- I will settle in a civilization that is walkable and built on human scale, rather than the scale of industrial-sprawl. I belong in a country with advanced and pleasing public transportation systems.

      What is untrue about that list?

      I felt that Pluto was speaking directly to me. My frustration over each and every one of those eight points haunts me every day. I have worked tirelessly and contributed money and all the rest of "civic interaction" and find that the rampant capitalism you so heartily defend in your diary has blocked - probably permanently - any hope of reform.

      Our own party has "jumped the shark", refusing to stand up to the corporate ownership of our media, our government, and our people. Our president, the one we worked tirelessly to elect, speaks all too often of "accomodation" with those who are the avowed enemies of this once-great nation: you know, the ones who have said "We want him to fail".

      When is enough enough?

      When does the law of diminishing returns kick in?

      I disagree with you that all that is wrong is that the ceiling leaks.

      No...the ceiling doesn't just leak, more than half of the roofing material is plain gone, and the rain pours in. The foundation is crumbling, and the defective soil on which the house is built is heaving and settling. The plumbing is rusted out in some places and hopelessly blocked in others. The electrical wiring is smoldering and frequently sparking small fires; the only reason they don't burn down the whole structure is that it is so sodden from all the leaks.

      And worst, by far the worst: there is an infestation of the most pernicious and parasitic lifeforms from cellar to attic; slithering wormlike organisms, flying stinging menaces, venomous serpants and rabid rodents. These inhabitants feed on the rot of the structure and are flourishing under the ineffectiveness of exterminators who are either incompetent or corrupt.

      The house either needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up, or it really needs to be vacated.

      Some people are willing to live in such a house, and I respect the various reasons that such continued inhabitants have for doing so: maybe sentimental: it was great-grandpa's house that he built with his own hands; maybe out of necessity: the occupant simply can't afford to move; maybe stubborn: "dammit, I'm pretty good at fixing things, and I'm not gonna let this little problem beat me".

      But I have respect for somebody who sees the rot as irreparable, and you should too. I understand when somebody has to cut his losses and do what's right for him. I don't feel entitled to flame that person, and I certainly don't feel "ashamed" of a community that counts among its numbers many who agree with that person.

      "Extreme Total Makeover" just isn't for everybody.

      •  Hey jude (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        limulus, dnta, m00finsan

        Don't make it bad.
        Take a sad song and make it better.

        Jingoism? No.

        My country right or wrong?
        When right, to be kept right.
        When wrong, to be set right.
        That's why we're here on this site.

        •  What you're seeing in people... (9+ / 0-)

 the loss of hope, for the very reasons "blue in NC" pointed out.

          I agree with you, Kestrel, in concept but not tact.  Whether we stay to fix or choose to leave depends on our willingness to do so.

          Regarding the appropriateness of such a comment on this site and what we're here to do on this site...certainly, the site is here to elect democrats... but in Kos' own words, part of our function is also to keep Democrats honest and keep their feet to the fire once elected.

          If people have truly lost hope, and some of us have... then that's not something we should sweep under the rug.

          The Democratic establishment does not need mindless worker-bees... it needs to re-establish a sense of just what it is we stand for... and unfortunately, that means we need to honestly reflect on what has gone wrong and what the consequences for that are.

          If a member, and apparently a large number of members, of this community have lost all hope... it's of the highest importance to know why.  Silencing it won't solve that problem.

          I have thought about leaving.  Europe is great and I have a few routes to get into some European countries to live if I so chose.

          I choose to stay and not cede this country to the Fascists... but I do so knowing that there is a cost, and that's a cost that not all can afford to pay.  

          We succeeded at electing Democrats... that's not enough.  They have to live up to their promises or what we've done here is not a benefit, it becomes a part of the problem.  I would much rather see the power of this community used to enhance the reputation of this country by keeping our leaders honest than just being a fund-raising machine for a political party...

          Are you alright with the site just being a fund-raising machine for a political party?  Think about it...

        •  well that's nice (0+ / 0-)

          But the man you quoted, Carl Schurz, was actually a German immigrant, ironically. (And a Republican, fyi.)

          So, he was allowed to leave his home country but Pluto should be denigrated for wanting to do the same thing?

          The hypocrisy in the reaction to what Pluto wrote on this site is quite astounding.

          No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.
          -Barbara Ehrenreich

          "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

          by catnip on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 02:39:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This needs to be a diary in its own right. (4+ / 0-)

        And I'd rec it!

        "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

        by Cassiodorus on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:41:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't agree 100% with this comment... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, blue in NC

        but I agree with it enough that I think it merits a rec.  

        That is what is so striking about our governance: it is increasingly devoid of even the pretenses of public good. - Hunter

        by Mehitabel9 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:48:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How many other countries (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sam I Am

        in the world do you think can escape from most of the legacies listed there?  Germany??!!  Japan?!!  How about France and England?  Just because some countries may have more enlightened health care or social welfare policies doesn't erase their entire histories, does it?  Yet Pluto seems to want to hang all the negative elements of American history permanently around our necks, while ignoring (perhaps through ignorance) the same or worse factors in others'.  

        And don't pretend that there aren't major negative elements in all those societies, either.  We're all one human race; the failings of one arbitrary geographic and political grouping are not going to be absent in any other.

        Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set... -- Gandalf

        by dnta on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:57:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the history aspect (5+ / 0-)

          was only one of Pluto's eight negatives.

          The other seven were clearly descriptive of current behavior.

          And, as for the historical genocide: aren't we, maybe, still guilty currently?

          Certainly we were guilty (collectively, whether we liked it or not)as recently as under Reagan, as he merrily dismissed the seriousness of AIDS because it only attacked homosexuals, heroin addicts, and Haitians...groups that Reagan and his acolytes were (and still are) all too happy to practice genocide on.

          And aren't our imperial and profiteering goals oversaes very possibly having the unintended (or maybe intended) result of genocide in some of the sovereign nations we've chosen to occupy and terrorize?

          •  I read recently about "our" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zett, blue in NC

            US corporate overlords treating indigenous people in South America NOW in much the same way they treated North American natives in the 1800s.

            People who stand in the way of US robber-baron desires for their land are are STILL being hunted down and killed - you are right.

      •  blue in NC (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue in NC

        ditto, ditto, ditto

        many thanks for your excellent post

      •  If you know nothing about human history ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, Sam I Am, ArthurPoet

        let alone the history of the Americas, you can agree with that list. If you have a more ... nuanced ... view of history, not so much. To take one example:

          1.  Genocide -- I will not take my last breath in a nation the was violently founded on the blood-soaked soil of genocide. I see the evidence of what was done so recently to the Original American Population of this nation, and it haunts me every day.

        1. If Pluto is looking for a nation that doesn't have "genocide" (and many here seem to use that word with extreme sloppiness) in its past, I suggest he or she avoid Europe ... and Asia ... and Africa ... and Australia. And, BTW, the pre-Columbian Americas had their share of genocides as well. Maybe there is a nice bare recently-formed atoll out in the Pacific somewhere that will meet Pluto's requirements. I suppose Antarctica is OK, too.
        1. Speaking of the sloppy way the word "genocide" is thrown around, the millions of Native Americans who died because they lacked immunity to smallpox and other European diseases were not victims of genocide. If you want to cry "genocide" based on body count (which seems to be the idea), you could make an equally good case that Native Americans were guilty of "genocide" because they introduced tobacco use to the wider world, killing millions. That would be silly.  
        1. This is not to deny or ignore the many horrible and reprehensible acts perpetrated against Native peoples by the American government and individual Americans, including some specific actions (smallpox infected blankets) that were genocidal. But the activities against Native peoples were far too diffuse, episodic, and uncoordinated to reasonably be called genocide.
        1. I find the general attitude that views Native Americans as innocent, helpless victims of Teh Evil Whites, kind of racist in itself. They were overcome by invaders, but Native peoples were (and are) as powerful, capable, dangerous, and admirable as any other people. Have some respect.
        1. It's pretty ethnocentric to demand of 16th C. English or 15th C. Spanish or for that matter 19th C. Americans that they adhere to your version of 21st C. moral expectations. Try to keep in mind that the Native people they encountered wouldn't necessarily meet your expectations either.

        Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States is an excellent book, but it should not be anyone's primary source for American history. His justifiable outrage at many events in U.S. history undermines his perspective and judgment. I mention this because it seems to me that Pluto and many other Kossacks follow Zinn's tendency to reiterate that the U.S. falls far short of 'City on the Hill' perfection. Well, duh!

        We already have "death panels". They are called health insurance companies.

        by ohiolibrarian on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:51:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for this diary. (4+ / 0-)

      It really needed to be said.

      The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

      by beijingbetty on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:41:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree and disagree. a normal situation for me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, soms

      I understand why you are upset and it shocks me as well that the diary is on the rec list.  Not that it was written but that it was recc'ed.  I personally find it in especially bad taste just after Senator Kennedy was laid to rest considering he fought so hard for the country and the people.  I realize many won't agree with that and understand why.

      On the other hand, as far as the writing and "on topic" go, Pluto has every right to express his/her view on the subject and his wish to leave.  We also had many comments like that when Bush was 'elected' twice and most understood. Heck i remember it when Reagan was elected.

      Every country is flawed, they are governed by humans so it has to be.   Grass is greener syndrome still abounds.  When it comes  to health care not all universal hc are equal. For example, in Italy there is such a shortage of funds, it is expected that the family nurse the patient while in hospital and even bring in food. obviously they have a kitchen but it is used to feed people who are unable to have family care for them and very special diets.  If you don't have family, often you are cared for by the equivalent of house cleaners, they do the basic nursing while qualified ones are with critical patients.

      "I know we will have differences. Put them aside. It is so easy to focus on where we don't agree and to lose the big picture. Fight until we win" -Kwickkick

      by vc2 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:19:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Joyful participation in th sorrows of the world" (0+ / 0-)

      so says mythologist Joseph Campbell.

      I think it reflects the DKos mission & the diarist's hope.

    •  I am ashamed of everyone who (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      valadon, Prognosticator, SeaTurtle

      rec'd this diary tearing down everyone who rec'd that diary....whatever...I'm only kind of kidding..if you're losing sleep over a diary you disagree with, you need a bigger life.

      I don't think I rec'd the diary in question (yes, that's how much I care), but thought it was thoughtful and interesting. It lays out some complaints I have about the country and talks about doing something I wouldn't do, but find interesting to read about.

      I've enjoyed reading your stuff in the past, but have a slice of get over yourself....

      •  This site (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Union Forever

        is about improving America, not abandoning it.
        I stand by my criticisms.

        •  It's a forum, people bring different ideas (4+ / 0-)

          here. I thought it was about "electing Democrats" and, apparently, that sentiment and "improving America" are not always synonymuous (I'm looking at you blue dogs).

          If you want you can read and think about them. After reading your diary, in which you seem to have put about 10 minutes of time into and pluto's, I think I found more to think about with his than yours, which reads, with all due respect, a bit like a liberal's "America fuck yeah."  

          Hell, after the 2004, tons of people considered leaving.

          Anyway, another point I think you're missing is: recommending a diary doesn't mean you always agree with the content. It just might mean it's well written, thoughtful, funny, or, perhaps in the case of people who rec'd yours, a diary that succinctly captures a fleeting sentiment....whatever.

    •  Apparently enough people sympathized (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      With his diary. The author just wrote how how felt, in a well put together diary.

      The mission of the site as a whole is as you quoted, but the diaries vary on topics, often having little relation to getting a Democrat elected. His diary does relate to the state of American politics, and he is writing from a left-leaning perspective.

      "All [US govt model based countries], without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." - Bruce Ackerman

      by PoxOnYou on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:45:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tipped and rec'd (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That other diary is nothing more than glorified, self-indulgent GBCW bullshit. My parents came to this country for a reason-- and some damn good ones at that. I'm grateful for their decision. I'm obligated to work towards making my country better for myself and others.

      No hell below us, above us only sky...

      by rightiswrong on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:54:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  group shame (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, valadon

      Is group shame that far from giving up on your country.  When bushie was reelected, I considered leaving the country--because I had group shame.  I lost ancestors in Germany because their patriotism/chauvinism trumped their intelligence.

      Different strokes for different folks--I neither feel shame nor pride in someone's decision--it's personal.

    •  I popped out f bed this AM (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kestrel9000, MaikeH

      very hungover and a lot earlier than I wanted to because of that diary. I'm with you Kestrel.

      This has truly been a summer of discontent around here, and the defeatism is getting SO tiresome.

    •  All I can say is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Thank You

    •  Kestrel9000, I don't understandyour reaction... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CatM, Prognosticator, fiendish thingy

      It is imp. to take a long, cold, hard look at the US and its policies, etc. and to be willing to look at the dark side in order to be really in touch with Reality.  It is very depressing to do so, particularly with what has been revealed recently in the health care debate (viz. that a lot of Dems are in the pocket of corporations.)

      I thought Pluto's diary touched on some really tough yet valid points.  I also thought it was spun with a lot of romanticism and naivete about the world and lack of knowledge about colonialism, etc.  And finally I thought that Pluto was describing a very intellectualized way to live life, that didn't connect with the value of relationships, etc.

      However, I do not understand Kestrel9000's reaction.  Pluto's diary must have hit a nerve of some sort for him.  So, someone else is declaring a "Man of La Mancha" search for "The Impossible Dream?"  Why on earth should that upset you so much, kestrel? Why do you need to denigrate him?

      To me, Pluto sounds idealistic and it might be the best thing in the world for him to go 'out into the world.'  The fact that he speaks so harshly about somethings can also be difficult to hear.  About some of the things, I completely agree.  Take what you want and leave the rest.

      Kestrel, if you are secure in your commitment to staying in the US, why do you flip out when someone has a different point of view?

      Live and Let Live.

    •  tipped and recced (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree, especially with the last part.

      If you are going to leave do it and frankly (as far as I am concerned) don't come back.

    •  "Know thyself" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, valadon

      As I mentioned in that diary, I considered leaving the country in early 2007, but not renouncing citizenship.  My reasons were not lack of love of country, but because I doubted that I could do anything substantial to change it and it seemed likely economically doomed in the short term.  My thought was to go and live cheaply, wait out the coming crash, and then return at a later time when I might be able to play a stronger role in fostering social change.

      That's where I was at the time.  Whether I was right or wrong, it was worth knowing and conveying -- which I did at the time -- where I was.  It was a small addition to our national self-knowledge.

      I read Pluto's diary -- more stark and final than mine -- as again giving us a sense of where we are.  For many people who talk about going to Canada or elsewhere, it's largely about health care.  Knowing that -- knowing that people who we should want to keep here are leaving because they can't afford to stay -- is important for us if it's true.  If you take Pluto's diary in that sense, it should not bother you.

    •  Respectfully Disagree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IM, zett, valadon, Prognosticator
      Now I will probably get flamed for this, but:

      :: the world is full of immigrants and so is the US, a nation of immigrants, which is better for the fact

      :: in fact, I was once an immigrant to the US and while it lasted (circumstances eventually led be back home) it was a mutually benificial relationship; I obtained my PhD in an American university, partially with public support, contributed to research which payed back in spades, and worked in a US company for several years contributing a lot there as well while benifiting from the eperience of living is the USA (and paying taxes).

      :: in fact, it is still a mutually benificial relationship; I remain engaged with US organizations that are part of the International scientific community that develops collective knowledge through collective efort. Not to mention my many American friends and now American sister who I care deeply for.

      :: and obviously, being a kos member of several years, I also take an active interest in the political and social affairs of the US because I think the US is an importiant country that matters to the world in both the positive and negative sense, and it is importiat that the US become more engaged in the international community.

      :: what motivated me to join Kos are some of the issues Pluto listed as reasons to leave; I can't say I totally agree with him on all point and I have a different perspective, but his reasons are sound, these problems he lists are real. In essence, I joind kos for the reason he choses to leave the US; I was increasingly alarmed at the state of affairs in US society, the gridlocked, toxic political climate and the perception US society was backsliding toward ignorance and decline. The last straw was the 2004 electing when Bush won by popular election, something that really alarmed me.

      :: in the same period, 2 of my American friends independantly started considering whether or not to leave the US, one quite seriously since he felt basically hopless to change the situation and facing increasing difficulty to continue his research in the US while opportunities abrad beckoned. That he remained out of loyalty to his research partners and Post-Doc staff says a lot about his personal integrity but I assure you if not for that, he would no longer live in the USA. That he remaind politically involved in liberal causes (and a member of this site) also speaks for his character but it might not have been that way, and reasonably so; he really could have a better research position elsewhere that would make better use of his time.

      :: one remark you make stands out from the rest:

      And Pluto?

      Don't let the door hit you in the ass.

      That sucks. That is a spiteful, ignorant remark. That is below this site.

      Many people leave their countries of birth for various reasons, but the most common one is to seek a better life elsewhere when they feel compelled to do so. Unless you are a Native American I'll suppose that includes your own familly. It certianly included me. Doing so does not make one disloyal or a quitter. In fact, it is often the opposite, that we do reluctantly, and in doing so carry a burden we feel compelled to make good on, with a debt to our home country and new country both. I certian felt that and still feel that; 20 years after returning home. I still feel a moral obligation to the country that hosted me for nine difficult but very enrichin years.

      This is a personal decision and familly decision. That Pluto shares it with this community suggests his own feelings of obligation toward this community of which he is a very active member. That he approached it with bitterness is a personal issue he must work through and I hope he does; time and experience tend to change our perspective and having been through such a change twice I suppose he will find the ties that bind are not broken as easily as we suppose.

      Why does your remark "suck"?

      Because it reflects the same sort of pig-headed "with us or against" mentality that turned the world against the USA when it spewed out of the mouth of George Bush.

      And it reflects the attitude at root of many problems in the US today (and in other countries I might add).

      I rec'd you diary for the sake of debate, whith my disagreement noted.

      Thank you.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 09:55:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I didn't think the ethos of Daily Kos was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prognosticator, koNko

      "My country, right or wrong."

      Someone is leaving the country, and lists their reasons for it.  Other people resonate with that diary and recommend it, myself included.  That's what I think of as democracy.

      I guess trying to shut down viewpoints you don't like is also democracy -- I just associated that tactic more with conservatives than progressives.

      My Jewish family fled from Poland in WWII.  I know very well that people have their limits of loyalty to a home country.  

      And for a country like ours, founded on immigration, it seems bizarre to be so offended that someone might want to take the boat away from these shores instead of towards them.

      Do you feel the same about people who escaped to Canada during the Vietnam War?

    •  Despite the fact (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that you're being overly dramatic (much like the diary to which you object), I agree with your general sentiments. It wasn't so much the general idea of the other diary that bothered me--I don't think emigration is a shameful thing--it was the general tone that put me off. All that rubbish about mitochondrial DNA and "evolving my consciousness" was downright emetic.

      I too had an uneasy feeling when I went to bed last night, though not, apparently, as uneasy as yours.

      Nobody cares that you made the reclist for the 1st, 3rd or 45th time. Please make a note of it.

      by MeMeMeMeMe on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:24:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well...I'm on Pluto's side... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1000 Points of Fright

      ...You can be as ashamed all you want to be by Pluto's diary...which is telling it like it is.

      Go ahead...HR his tip's good for you.  I'm sure that felt good...oh and...bury your head in the sand while your at it.

      Watch as the country you love dissolves into confusion, misinformation...and a Christian controlled military...stay tuned.

      Frogs sitting in a slowly heated pot of water anyone? can't feel the heat yet?  I hope you do before its too late.  Of course, if your wealthy just might get by in the USA in your lifetime...but how about your children and grandchildren?


      Watch as the government just has to.  The "starve the beast" gang has already got their fix in.  It has never been about "deficits"'s always and ONLY been about who gets to spend the money.

      Republicans?  We spend like there is no tomorrow...spend on two wars at once...we just throw over $700 billion at medicare without any idea of how to pay for it...heck, we didn't even attempt to offer any way to pay for it...just kicked the can down the problem.

      And we Republicans just rubber stamped it all.  Who gives a crap if we leave trillions in debt for the future on our watch?  Actually the IS THE WHOLE POINT...dummies.  Heck we got richer than ever before...and made the country poorer than ever before...and the country gets NOTHING of note for all the money we spent...except the inability to do anything really good for the people of the USA in the future.


      Democrats?  Hey, we Republicans need to have a talk with you...What do you mean you want to spend between $30-60 billion per year for the next ten years on the PEOPLE of the nation...for health care?  Are you nuts?  Why, that is a quarter of the money it takes each year just to maintain our troops is Iraq and Afganistan.  How on earth do you expect Blackwater and all the other private army folks we have over there to get 10 times the pay of those low life military folks?  How do you expect us to continue our Christian crusade if we help our own citizens.  Are you nuts?  Don't you get that you've already been defeated.  We've shackled the USA with so much debt...all anything will pay for is the interest on that debt.


      Republicans to Democrats...PSSST...we Republicans get to do all the spending...and it ain't going to go to the American people...YOU Democrats don't get to spend money...if you DARE try, we'll fuck you up every time.  You Democrats don't get to save the country for the people of the country.  WE'VE ALREADY made that impossible...don't you get it?

      PSSST...You silly Democrats!  Bipartisanship means you do what we Republicans want...that's it.  Haven't you figured out yet who your masters are?

      And if you don't stop pushing back like you have been for the past 8 months...we'll get our street thugs to take you out...we'll teabag the fuck out of you. what you always do...squabble among yourselves and let us Republicans and the corporations control all the strings.

      Oh, and BTW...when this silly "health care" thing is settled...guess what?  We'll make sure our good buddies in for-profit-health-insurance get a big fat 40+ million more folks to have to pay for the same shitty health care we already have for ya all...and there won't be any real change in how they can jack you around.


      Why is the happening?  Why is it accelerating?  Because the divide between the wealthy and the poor is as wide as in any third world country...and it is actually wider than it's been in the entire history of our nation.

      Fear and desperation will reign supreme...and the population will be ever so more easy to manipulate and control...they will willingly give up their personal freedoms out of fear...and they will be funneled where they are led to believe they have any chance at all.

      Desperation and fear born of hopelessness.

      Soon it will simply be "you're either one of us or you're against us."  Simple as and white...Actually, we are on the very cusp of just that.  IT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!

      Can't you see that?

      I don't know how old you are...but, if you're young enough, you will see your USA devolve into nothing like you believe it to be.  Your USA will merely exist as a memory.

      A small minority does have supreme control over everything...Goldman Sachs and the banking system are now threatening AGAIN to bring the entire economy down...if Bloomberg forces them to show where all the money went from TARP.

      Imagine that!  We gave them mega-fucking-billions of dollars...and they are threatening to fucking bring everything crashing down if we make them tell us where the money went.

      HELLO McFLY!!!!

      Fox News is ratcheting up the loons with the guns...

      Corporations absolutely own Congress...

      I believe we've gone past the tipping point politically in the USA.  The Christianofacists will prevail, IMO.

      I also believe we've gone past the tipping point regarding global climate change as well, BTW.

      But that's another story.

      "Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences." --Paradise50

      by paradise50 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:26:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  a BLANK diary! (0+ / 0-)

      Why didn't I think of that before? That would be one way of getting on the rec list!

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:41:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  HRd because this diary does not (0+ / 0-)

      conform to the stated goals of this site .

      HRd for lies and hypocrisy .  
      "Under no circumstances would I "take my ball and go home.""
      "So I guess I kind of quit something myself, in a way....but I returned to my roots."

      You didn't stay and "fix the roof" you ran .

      I suspect that you would tell immigrants to go home and "fix the roof" .

      "In Switzerland, only nonprofit insurers may participate."

      by indycam on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:55:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bad Attitude (0+ / 0-)

      With that attitude you will be hearing a lot more doors slamming, until the Democratic Party is as about as relevant as the Republican Party.

      'Partisan' shouldn't become a synonym for 'useful idiot.'

      They tortured people
      To get false confessions
      To fraudulently justify
      Invasion of Iraq!
      -Seneca Doane

      by James Kresnik on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 01:48:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what part of "shoot the messenger" (0+ / 0-)

      in your diary am I supposed to mistake for a progressive message?

      When one smells enough smoke to have reason to believe that the building one is in is on fire, your duty to yourself is to get the hell out before calling 911 and to the other people in the building is to warn people on one's way out of the building and provide information to those not clear on the concept as to where the exits are.

      That's what Pluto did, and that's why I gave her a diary rec and not you.

      Whether or not the fire can be fought with available resources is indeed arguable by reasonable people. But denying that the building is on fire is not consistent with being part of a reality-based community.

      The evidence that the American political process is broken and is no longer capable of providing fixes to the problems that must be solved if America is to become "a going concern" again is pretty compelling.

      Nations and empires whose governments have been co-opted by the wealthy class for the sole purpose of enriching themselves have a pretty uniform track record of disaster. FDR's managing to get the USA out of the mess that resulted the last time it happened was in large part due to circumstances that do not exist in America today.

      The evidence that things are too far gone for collective political action to fix the problem is only somewhat less compelling.

      It's a judgment call. Make it as you please. But make it without self-delusion based on wishful thinking about the state of the nation or its most probable futures, especially if you have family whose interests you need to protect.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:09:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (47+ / 0-)

    I read Pluto's diary - and REC'ed it.

    It is, in fact, one of the best-written justifications for abandoning American citizenship that I have ever read.

    Funny how you do not address any of his major arguments, but instead do nothing but give us flag-waving, Disney-view-of-history rhetoric - instead of merely acknowledging that, to some people free to interpret their own lives and experiences in their own way, their experience of this country's brutality and inhumanity does not dovetail with your rosier worldview and ability to ignore our many shortcomings.

    In fact, I have often considered retiring in either Canada or Mexico. Would I leave the United States? Perhaps. After all, aside from Pluto's arguments, I can at least marry the person I love in Canada (and have a recognized civil union in Mexico).

    But we'll see.

    In either case, your outrage is misplaced. Not everyone is able to turn a blind eye to the negative side of American history quite so easily as you seem to be able to do.

    I don't have "issues". I have a full subscription!

    by GayIthacan on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 03:33:08 AM PDT

  •  I have my grandfather's passport. (26+ / 0-)

    He emigrated here from Italy in the early 1900s. I often think of going back there and taking my family with me. And I have been an involved citizen. I vote. I care. I march. Of late, all I fantasize about is leaving. That is the truth. You may not like my truth. But I have a right and a duty to tell it.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 03:33:12 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, kestrel9000 (20+ / 0-)

    The fact that the diary is number one on the rec list is sobering.  Certainly, it indicates a level of disillusionment on the left.  That's to be expected; there will always be marginal minorities on both the right and the left with extreme positions.

    But that the extreme, irrational, hate filled marginal left should be so heavily represented on this site, in this community, has to give pause to patriotic, reality based Democrats who formed the base of the community.

  •  You know that feeling you get... (19+ / 0-)

    when you realize you're just getting over, say, the flu?

    That's the way I felt around noon on January 20 of this year.

    Seriously, after living under the catastrophe that was Bush for eight years, this Pluto dude is!?

    To each his own, of course, but to the people on the left who are constantly disillusioned with seemingly everything and who were under the misguided notion that Obama was going to solve all our problems by February, you are now free -- and always have been -- to leave.

    Also, to the right-wing wackos who hate our country, you, too, are free to leave -- the sooner, the better.

    We unPalins will stay and fight.

    •  It's not unusual for people to get impatient (8+ / 0-)

      when things are on the mend.  People don't revolt when there's no hope.  They do it when it's reasonable to expect success--i.e. a positive change.

      The problem with oppression is that it's not like a pot boiling on the stove that, when there's too much pressure, the lid pops off.  The problem with oppression is that, eventually, the oppressed get bored and stop being depressed and decide that anything would be better.

      Also, oppression is a habit and the oppressors don't know when to stop, so they put more and more energy into oppressing and nothing else gets done.  Surveillance, whether it's done by government agents or private contractors, is not a productive endeavor.  At best, you collect a lot of useless information.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:22:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problems this country faces (28+ / 0-)

    at this crucial point in time and history are enormous. Chillingly, frighteningly, the leadership we have elected seems often to be working at cross purposes with our needs and goals. The helplessness many of us feel seems to grow exponentially by the week, as we see liars, thieves, xenaphobes and hucksters grab the public microphone to pelt us with unreasoning babble and sloppy rhetoric meant to either enrage or befuddle our fellow citizens.
    The hole just keeps getting deeper. It is often an act of bravery to simply turn on the television and attempt to watch what passes as news.

    I think the bulk of readers who rec'd the diary you're referencing feel, to a greater or lesser degree, that same sense of helpless hopelessness for our country that the diarist has drawn upon, deep within themselves, and on some level wish they, too, could simply give in, give up, and move on.

    This country is so broken, and on so many levels, that the odds against our being able to affect real change at the level it is needed sometimes seem so be insurmountable. Many of our struggles seem to mimic Sisyphus', driven to keep pushing that enormous boulder uphill, only to have it keep rolling back down to crash at the bottom.

    How simple it would be, to stop trying, to accept the ever lurking suspicion that the task isn't just daunting, it isn't just the challenge of our time, but it is, in fact, impossible. Simply acknowledging our helplessness to complete the task and moving on is sorely tempting, sometimes.

    I think the rec's reflect that inelegant yet beguiling fantasy. Because, of course, we all know that no matter where we go, humans seem to have a knack for screwing things up. Part of the challenge of our species is to find a way to stop screwing up in ways that doom us to extinction, and find ways that ensure coexistence and harmony with each other and our resource limited planet.

      •  Thanks. I find myself torn (8+ / 0-)

        so often, especially given absolutes like "leaving" or "staying".

        Can we be fixed, or are we broken beyond repair. Is it better to climb aboard whatever life boat swings into range, or stay with a leaky vessel and keep bailing until someone smarter can repair the hole?

        My husband just finished the dual citizenship process, which gives us the actual ability to live someplace other than here, our foundering experiment in democracy.

        Will we? We fantasize, true. But actually picking up and leaving this land of our birth requires an acknowledgment that it is no longer a viable choice, broken beyond repair, and it is simply no longer safe to remain. We're not there, yet. I think we'll keep on bailing and encouraging our fellow sailors to stop simply being passengers and behave like crew, with all the responsibilities that entails.

        •  Kinda like the Democratic Party, no? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lisa Lockwood, MichaelNY


          Same debate there... Is it too broken to fix.

          Lots of people come down on either side of that line.

          I am witholding judgement until I see the results of the health care debate, guantanamo, Iraw withdrawal, and Afghanistan.  Thinks are moving much too slowly though IMO....

          -9.63 -6.92
          Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

          by rick on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:42:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  By being dual citizens (0+ / 0-)

          wherever you live, you can vote in American elections. That isn't truly leaving, in a sense, even if you live abroad.

    •  The problem is the "leader" model. Leader is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan, Onomastic, AuroraDawn

      just another word for ruler or decider or dictator--one individual at the head of a small group that's supposed to have all the answers and, like a good daddy or shepherd, look after the people.

      The Constitution provides for the people to govern via agents--public servants or stewards.

      There's a big difference between leadership and stewardship.  The steward is a doer, an expert at managing assets that are not his own.  For some reason we've been led to assume that if humans own something, they'll automatically manage it well.  That's just not been born out by experience.

      Anyway, the solitary leader is a political monopolist and, like any other monopoly, bound to fail.  For two reasons:

      !) No one person or small group can possess all the skills required to deal with the vagaries of man and nature.

      1. Diversity is the basis of organic existence.  Diversity isn't a consequence; it's the cause.  So, any effort to reduce diversity, whether of crops or pests or bi-peds, is to undermine the essence of life.

      So, how come there's just one species of human?  Because each individual incorporates all the accumulated diversity in one unique person.  There's not two people who are entirely the same--not even identical twins.
      If this hypothesis is accurate, then it actually follows, doesn't it, that the melting pot has been for naught.  Especially the fear of it.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:38:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thank for your comment. I might also add (7+ / 0-)

      (and i say this as someone who has decided to emigrate)  that renouncing citizenship IMO is much different than leaving.  When I leave i will still be able to vote. I plan to do so. As a progressive i have a responsibility to those who arent able to do what I am able to do, whether for lack of money, resources, or other obligations.  

      But a more interesting point, i think, is Plutos flawed thinking about renouncing.  If we live as world citizens (which we are) then what happens in a country like the USA has a direct effect on so many other countries. We all know this. So not taking part in improving it, even from afar, is actually the exact opposite of Pluto's "world citizen" claims.  Its why people here go to Haiti to help villages get water. Because it matters.  Its why we provide aid to refugees in Darfur.  Because it matters. If we are indeed all connected, all part of the world citizenry, how is it possible to turn your back on a country "in need" by choosing to renounce the very thing that gives you SOME ability to do SOMETHING?

  •  "quitting" can be constructive (3+ / 0-)

    you defend "capitalism", so i presume you want no part in violence against the state.

    this may come as a surprise to you, but there are bad people in america, lots of them, and one possible outcome of the political dynamic is for good people to physically separate themselves from the bad, as an alternative to a violent conflict.

    there are many diaries elevated to the Rec List that are not even remotely "let's all stay Obama's ATM and maybe we'll get something down the road for it"

    •  That diary had nothing to do with Obama's ATM (9+ / 0-)

      Anyone has the right to write that diary. The problem was it was at the top of the rec list on a website that claims to advocate patriotism and democratic principles. Now DKos has just advertised to the world we as a community advocate leaving America because we are too cowardly to be associated with America because of its faults. This website now deserves the criticism it gets from the right after this.

      A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

      by tazz on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:38:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well said - Bravo (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boston to Salem, tazz, math4barack

        Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed. Blaise Pascal

        by Kitty on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:03:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh. Horseshit. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, basquebob, blue in NC

        That a pained diary gets elevated to the top of the rec list because of the conversation that it start is reason enough for dKos to "deserve the criticism it gets from the right" is just plain horseshit.  Care to rethink that?

        •  Pained? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          math4barack, Onomastic, Escamillo

          After I cam home from Vietnam I used to visit the VA hospital in Philly and see what pained really means. Now somebody writes an unpatriotic screed against Americans:

          But on the whole, they're really ignorant and easily duped. They're too dumb to vote, but they do. And, they are very, very dangerous. They're broken beyond repair and that's not going to change in my lifetime -- which is all the time I have to evolve my consciousness.

          and you think that was pained?

          A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

          by tazz on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:47:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, pained (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sychotic1, Onomastic

            emotionally, morally and intellectually pained.  You've never seen this before? Pluto is injured. I think we might agree on that point.

            Some of her comments are somewhat over-the-top.  But I'll point out that the sentiment that you highlight has been applied regularly and enthusiastically on this site to all sorts of right-wing nut-cases.  

            You think that Pluto has cast her critical net too widely; so . . . that's her opinion. You have yours.

            Are you arguing that the DailyKos does, because of the conversation around Pluto's diary, "deserve[s] the criticism it gets from the right?  Or do you just not like the word "pained"?

            •  Injured? I'll tell you what's injured is (6+ / 0-)

              the millions of Americans who seek to stay in this country who lined the path of Ted Kennedy's motorcade yesterday or watched on TV a great American laid to rest. Living in America is about sacrifice, whether it's Martin Luther King Jr. leading the fight to for civil rights or Teddy Kennedy leading the charge for health care reform. People of courage stand their ground, only a coward deserts a ship. A man of Dr. King's intelligence and talents could have said the hell with it, my life is in danger anyway and left the country for Africa if he so chose, especially when his opponents would say ship all the blacks back to Africa. He decided to stay and to fight in the face of a political climate a 100 times worse than what it is today.

              A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

              by tazz on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:19:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Only a coward? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You say that "People of courage stand their ground, only a coward deserts a ship."

                So you think that those who went to Canada rather than submit to and possibly be killed by an illegal and immoral war were cowards?  This is your position?

                •  I decided to stay and I was sent to Vietnam (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I don't have an issue with those who fled to Canada. We resolved that many years ago when Carter said they could come back. However, many of those who ran to Canada were conscientious objectors, many were cowards. I tolerate and accept people who are cowards. I don't hate them. I do acknowledge cowardice in myself as well. My definition of bravery is the ability to overcome one's cowardice and face the dangers. I don't judge anyone but myself, but I do know cowardice when I see it.

                  A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

                  by tazz on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:21:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't see Pluto as being particularly brave (0+ / 0-)

                    just a particularly well-reasoned, self-indulgent narcissist.

                    Yet, I still don't see how Pluto's diary and the resulting comments gives rise to the DailyKos now "deserving the criticism of the Right" that was source of my original objection.  Rather we've been sidetracked here by whether someone is sufficiently pained . . . or injured . . . or cowardly.  All of which is tangential to the original point.

              •  So Pluto is not pained or injured . . . (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                she's just a coward.  I get it that this is your opinion.  Yawn.

      •  Where does it say that this site (4+ / 0-)

        "claims to advocate patriotism"?

        And where does one draw the line between "patriotism" ansd "jingoism"?

      •  give me a break (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IM, Sychotic1, basquebob, NuttyProf

        a diary does not advertise anything about a site with probably 300,000 registered users. you're just perpetuating an inane right-wing talking point.

  •  I hope you know, (18+ / 0-)

    kestrel, I don't mean any disrespect, but I can't get too excited whether someone wants to be here, or not.  There are plenty more, like you, who are in it for the long haul.  We're not going to run out of good people, as dismal as it seems at some moments.

  •  jesus, the drama! (19+ / 0-)

    live your own goddam life and let other people do the same

    •  This IS my life (5+ / 0-)

      or a big part of it, and as been for just short of four years now.

      I could make a long list of the effects this site has had on my life, and I should sometime.
      A profitable side job, legal assistance when  once needed it, a moment of love...I could go on.

      You'll pardon me if I say what the hell I think now and again, won't you?

      •  now that's pathetic. (4+ / 0-)

        kestrel, if this is your life, fine - but don't make that everyone else's problem.  all this diary is, is an expounding on your typical "thumbs-up/thumbs-down" commenting MO, complete with chastisements and finger-wagging, for-shames and how-dare-yous.  has it ever occurred to you that a lot of people don't really give a crap what you think about them or their ideas?  besides, you really think that this will help anything for you to complain about what someone else feels or thinks?  why should anyone "pardon" you for saying whatever the hell you think from time to time, when you disparage that exact thing in whomever you don't agree with?

        at any rate, thanks for pointing me to a diary that by all accounts, including yours, sounds like a pretty good one.  unlike you, i'm not afraid to listen and comprehend where other people are - because i have the wherewithall to understand where i end and they begin.  apparently, you don't.

        I can break Sean Hannity by giving him a middle seat in coach. -Wanda Sykes

        by jj24 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:53:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why I support - (13+ / 0-)

    people who make their own choices.

    This means you, Kestrel, and also the diarist who dreams of leaving the US.

    I don't recognize my country anymore. Who ARE these people with so little charity in their hearts?

    Who ARE these people who defend status quo when it's so obviously wrong?

    Who ARE these people who listen to Faux Noise and believe it to be the holy gospel?

    I, too, am leaving. But I won't be far away. I may be shot as a subversive but I will be free. If only in my heart.

    "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."- Albert Camus

    I'm the person your mother warned you about.

    by Unique Material on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:00:31 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately, some of them are our blood (5+ / 0-)

      relations.  It can be difficult to have a conversation at a family gathering without politics and acrimony creeping in.

    •  Who are these people? (7+ / 0-)

      They are the minority - the 20 percenters.  Sometimes I am stunned by the experiences that others write about here.  It doesn't matter where I am I mostly meet very nice, decent people.  I find I have far more in common with the people I meet than I have differences, no matter what our political views are.  Very, very rarely do I meet the haters that you see on television, people like Glenn Beck and his most rabid followers.  That's my experience and for that reason, I'm pretty comfortable where I'm at, living with people that I don't always agree with, but celebrating when I can influence someone and change a vote or a mind.

      •  Unfortunately, they are becoming (4+ / 0-)

        far more than 20%.

        There are way too many Americans who, as Pluto says, are too easily duped. Many of the obstructionists at the town halls and teabagging festivals aren't "movement conservatives" or even Rethugs...they're just part of the increasingly larger mass of "teh duped".

        And the 20-percenters have the real government: the corporations, the profiteers, and the media empires they control, on their side. And the rest of us don't have the assets necessary to buy them out...

        Talk about being able to rule from a minority position.

    •  I suspect - (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      there are not MORE of them, they are just falsely ennobled by the media coverage.

      Tends to turn the moderates their way, because people think, golly, those folks are so upset, must be something to it...

      And obviously as a disinformation tactic it is working brilliantly among my beloved, ever-fragmented left. Not the serious lefties of course, who always knew this would be hard.

      (Or were always flakes anyway.)

      The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

      by beijingbetty on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:04:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree 100%. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, kestrel9000, math4barack

    I hope Kos exercises his prerogative and throws that diary out, regardless of how many Recs it has.  It clearly does not belong here, does not reflect the values of this community, and does not serve the mission we are here to advance.

    I can haz rashunality?

    by Troubadour on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:03:51 AM PDT

    •  See how easy it is to be exclusive? It's that (9+ / 0-)

      impulse which leads to segregation, if it's given in to.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:41:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why THIS diary? (6+ / 0-)

      I looked at Pluto's title and decided I wasn't interested in him or his story. As far as I am concerned it might as well be one of those awful GBCW diaries, which I never read either.

      I haven't read it and don't intend to. I don't give a shit WHO recommends it. I have other things to do. Ignore it and move on if the title offends you.

      Daily Kos is a big tent. It's a reflection of the society at large, and sometimes there's no accounting for what people recommend. It's their business.

      "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

      by Ivan on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:03:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a crock! (5+ / 0-)

      Did it ever occur to you that the reason it was recommended was that it had some meaning for some people?  Perhaps the ones recommending didn't necessarily want to leave, but something in the diary meant something to them.  Maybe the people who recommended didn't agree with every point, but they found some meaning in it? If the diary resonated with enough people that it was rec'd up, who are you to say it doesn't belong.  

      There appears to be a large number of the thought police on this sight.  I didn't read the diary that is being discussed, probably because this one was at the top and I haven't gotten there yet, but from the discussion here, I can tell that I will probably agree with some of the points.  There is a possibility that is deserves to be here on this site and on the rec list because it is thought provoking.  In any case, let's not be so hasty about censorship.

      Zionism is Bullshit

      by moonheart on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:59:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  kestrel and others are just taking their MO (0+ / 0-)

        to the next level - using entire diaries, v. comments, to browbeat the masses.

        I can break Sean Hannity by giving him a middle seat in coach. -Wanda Sykes

        by jj24 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:55:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How about (19+ / 0-)

    ... you're ashamed of the people who rec'ed it given that the vast majority of the community didn't?

    •  True (5+ / 0-)

      but kind of long for a diary title.
      And enough people recced it to keep it on top of the rec list, as it dropped down than bounced back up.

      It's just really disheartening that something so contrary to the purpose of this site should be praised by so many people.

      •  Too many people here make too much (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of what rises (falls and rises) on the rec list.  It's never more than a thin minority of readers, just slightly thinker than all the other thin minority of readers of other diaries.

        It's just really disheartening that something so contrary to the purpose of this site should be praised by so many people.

        Yes, and in that regard, any of us can point to any number of diaries that do the same thing.  Indeed, I have done so with respect to a few diarists who make the rec list with great frequency, and while they both nominally advance "the purposes of this site," they do so in a way and with language that, intentionally or not, serves to divide this community (in to such vacuous and maningless group as "the hippies," the "Left", and most recently, "the Left of the Left").  

        Frankly, that's much more pernicious than one user who wants to do the ex pat shuffle, and a thin majority who apparently find some allegience to that idea or maybe nothing more than how it was expressed.

        In plure vino, plus veritas

        by GOTV on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:19:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. (9+ / 0-)

      Pluto's diary wouldn't be up there without all the rec's it received.  Pluto has a right to voice his opinion in a diary and as far as Kos throwing it out, this site is democratic above all else (well except CT diaries).

      I love my country and don't believe I'll ever leave it.  I love this site, but it has become increasingly negative and depressing of late and I don't plan on leaving it either.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. - John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:14:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have never been able to figure out how (6+ / 0-)

      one person can be shamed by another's behavior?  Having that emotion would seem to imply that the person feeling shamed had some control over another's behavior and an example of having lost control is embarrassing.  But that would imply that the misbehaving individual was not at liberty to act as s/he did.  

      Are there instances when one person is properly in control of another?  Yes, that's the essence of the parent/child relationship.  But, that's presumed to be very short term.  Once the faculty of reason is fully developed, the parental responsibility ceases.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:50:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So we've had FUCK AMERICA and LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in 2 separate diaries.

      I'm not too impressed with either, personally

      The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

      by BentLiberal on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:15:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The one thing I agree with in the other diary is (5+ / 0-)

    that there are alot of people in this country that are ignorant. And that bothers me too, and I really don't know how to change them. It does bother me to have people say those ignorant things and strongly believe them.  

    I sure hope that THOSE people do not get in a position of power...

  •  I'm not inclined to be angry (14+ / 0-)

    I can even understand the sentiment, but leaving is an utterly pointless gesture - it is an admission of defeat.  If you want to leave, fine, but don't complain about what happens after your departure from the fight.

    I'm in a funny position, I was born over there and I can get up and leave at any time.  My family has also been in this country for over 300 years - we fought in the revolution and the civil war (for the union, we were also abolitionists).  Too much history, too many sacrifices.

    I can't quit - it would betray everything I am.

  •  You and I often agree, but not this time. n.t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flash123, banjolele

    "YES WE CAN" doesn't mean he is going to. ~~Daily Show

    by dkmich on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:12:26 AM PDT

    •  Well (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beijingbetty, math4barack, AuroraDawn

      then perhaps we disagree on the purpose of Daily Kos?
      I cite FAQ. What can you cite?

      •  FAQ is good enough for me. (16+ / 0-)

        The difference is where you put the emphasis.  

        This is a Democratic blog, a partisan blog. One that recognizes that Democrats run from left to right on the ideological spectrum, and yet we're all still in this fight together. We happily embrace centrists like NDN's Simon Rosenberg and Howard Dean, conservatives like Martin Frost and Brad Carson, and liberals like John Kerry and Barack Obama. Liberal? Yeah, we're around here and we're proud. But it's not a liberal blog. It's a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory. And since we haven't gotten any of that from the current crew, we're one more thing: a reform blog. The battle for the party is not an ideological battle. It's one between establishment and anti-establishment factions. And as I've said a million times, the status quo is untenable.

        * 1.  If Obama and the Democrats don't deliver change, real change, they will lose to it.

        * 2.  Democrats have become the new corporate establishment.  

        * 3.  The status quo is untenable.   If we elect one more corporate owned Democrat, we might as well have one party.   Oh wait, we do.

        "YES WE CAN" doesn't mean he is going to. ~~Daily Show

        by dkmich on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:19:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Whether the diary follows the mission (28+ / 0-)

        seems only a kind of legalistic and tangential argument that you're retreating behind, Kestrel. As others have pointed out, many diaries don't follow the mission of the site, some of them get rec'd, and you don't get upset by them. What you're really upset by is the idea Pluto expressed, and that so many people (myself included) share his disillusionment. So best to stick to that issue and forget about the sophistry of whether the diary is aligned with the mission.

        I too feel a sense of hopelessness. I do what I can do; I vote for progressives. I write letters. I work to help my community. But what we're dealing with in this country is a predatory corporate oligarchy; it has, in my view, hijacked the political process. And after a half-century of social engineering in which Americans have been progressively turned into a nation of consumers without a sense of history or a capacity for critical thought, I don't believe that it will be changed through any political process. I think the only thing that will take this power structure down is catastrophic collapse. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

        Our leadership is broken, co-opted by a self-interested and amoral corporate hegemony. It dominates almost every aspect of our public lives, and has made frightening inroads into our private lives.

        Of course you are free to disagree, and to continue to fight whatever fight you can, as I also will. But to lambast someone for expressing what is a legitimate sense of despair in the face of our very real challenges is unfair. And I think it probably says more about your insecurities and fears that all our fight may be for nothing than it does about whether Pluto should be rec'd or not.

        Ironic points of light flash out/Wherever the Just exchange their messages. -W.H. Auden

        by Crypsis on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:35:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well said. (10+ / 0-)

          Nobody held a wake for America's manufacturing industry, and now we are supposed to give a fuck about these assholes in the insurance business? - Playon

          by blueocean on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:49:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  its scary for people (7+ / 0-)

          when youre thrown overboard in high seas, you fight for your life. you give it all you can. but at some point, when you realize you can fight no more and you realize there is no hope of rescue, there comes a moment when you must accept that its over, that you must surrender to the sea.

          i think in some ways, for me, i see where we are now as that last hope of rescue. Obama, for me, represented (and still does) that hope that we can make things right. But this is a critical moment. If we dont fix the economy fundamentally, if we dont start getting people educated, if we dont take health care seriously and we fail to set up new, promising industry and ways of looking at things, this country as we know it is toast. its that simple.  this is THE critical point. As with any emergency, there is a point at which things will go one way or the other.  THIS is that point for the USA and yet, that seems lost on well nigh half the population and nearly all of so-called representatives (none of whom would actually suffer at all anyway).

          its scary for people to admit at that critical point that the sea will be where they die. The impulse is to fight on. to tread water forever until that rescue copter appears.  its heartbreaking to realize your limbs are weak from treading and to know that if something doesnt happen soon, you will drown. that's what's happening to many of us.

          i hope (and work hard) to try to make change in my country USA.  but if we cannot get through this critical time with more advanced policy, more progressive outlook, more understanding of the stakes involved, this country, as we have known it, is done.

        •  If one looks around one cannot (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crypsis, flash123

          help but feel despair at how the corporations control our country and how mindless most Americans are about the subject. For me the telling moment is upon us and will tell the story. If there is no robust public option it seems to me that fix is in and they are letting us howl in the wind to keep us busy.

          In every moment of every day we only have two choices. Act out of fear or act out of love

          by Jlukes on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:09:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You say that a lot (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, banjolele, Onomastic

        but where were you when Caroline Kennedy was destroyed by the front pagers? And where are you during the I/P diaries? Hoe about the pootie diaries? So will you excuse some of us if we don't take this particular argument seriously?

  •  Amen. (5+ / 0-)

    My mon is an immigrant.  I spent much of my childhood overseas.  My experience is:  a lot of our globalist pretentions fo not survive long when we are someplace, well, foreign.

    Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

    by bugscuffle on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:17:08 AM PDT

  •  In the early part of the (4+ / 0-)

    Bush Administration, especially with the invasion of Iraq, many of us expressed thoughts of escaping.

    I hadn't read the diary you're referring to until I closed this one in order to do so, and I'm sorry I don't really agree with you about your disgust because the diarist is or has already left and is giving up his citizenship here.  Maybe it's the liberal in me.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:17:33 AM PDT

    •  I'm one of those who did (11+ / 0-)

      and I've never been criticized for it though I've been open about it for years.  Even been praised for it as I get medical treatment here that I wouldn't in the US.

      So I don't understand this, really.

      Hello? Hello? Hunter? Hunter what? Ain't nobody doing no huntin' up here, fool! This is a party not a safari!

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:53:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know that I ever praised you for (5+ / 0-)

        leaving, but I sure did envy you for having the ability to do it.

        The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

        by nupstateny on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:20:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I HR'd the other diary (3+ / 0-)

        not because the diarist is leaving, but for making it seem like it was a noble gesture, his/her disgust for America overriding all reasons to stay.

        It's ridiculous given that there are no perfect places.

        We can do so much good as active progressive American voters. Perhaps more good, electorally, than any other group of people on the planet at the moment.

        (Except for whoever is working out the carbon scrubbing thing. Go team!)

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

        by beijingbetty on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:12:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, I recced it because of the needed (6+ / 0-)

          discussion but didn't tip because of the reasons you stated.

          To me leaving was not a noble gesture at all, but rather a sad gesture of the more things change, the more the remain the same.

          I saw the Iraq war and thought, "shit, not again" and realized this was a cycle and not a society that I wanted to bring up a family in.  I often use the example of toy stores here and back home: here they are filled with Legos and stuffed animals, back home they are filled with soldiers and toy guns.*

          No place is perfect and it isn't here, but I feel more of a serenity here (and I get health care).  So, I will defend Pluto for leaving as I can understand it.  That diary was well written enough, but could have been put differently that would not have set of a meta firestorm.  

          *Except for the global corporation Toys R Us, they have quite a large assortment of military toys.

          Hello? Hello? Hunter? Hunter what? Ain't nobody doing no huntin' up here, fool! This is a party not a safari!

          by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:34:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Pluto has every right to feel and express what (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kestrel9000, DontTaseMeBro, Onomastic

      he feels here. The community decided his diary was important enough to put it on the rec list and advertise to the world Dkos advocates leaving the country before working to improve it. We just became irrelevant to political discourse by doing so.

      A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

      by tazz on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:03:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did I miss something? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj24, Onomastic, Ezekial 23 20

        According to that diary, this has been an ongoing project for him and he has finally completed his mission.  How does congratulating him on his success mean that this community advocates jumping ship?

        The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

        by nupstateny on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:31:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you have an exaggerated view of the relevance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ezekial 23 20

        of one diarist's writings, or the community's support of it.

        "how do we look to them"?  the theoretical "them."  what a waste of time; why don't you worry not how we appear, but who we are.

        I can break Sean Hannity by giving him a middle seat in coach. -Wanda Sykes

        by jj24 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:37:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Good lord, you only recc diaries (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, alliedoc

        because you feel everyone should do exactly what is said in them?

        That's pretty narrow.

        I recc a lot of diaries I'm uncomfortable with, simply because I feel they need to be seen by more people, whether I agree with them or not.

        In the case of the diary in question, I haven't recced it yet, but I well might, because people need to see the lengths to which the decay of the country can drive folks.  That doesn't mean I think everyone should pack their bags.  But they should be aware that we've got a negative brain drain going on, thanks to the lack of progress on key issues.

        Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:42:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Just to be a bit contrary, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      since citizenship is a bundle of obligations involving participation in governing, an individual formally relinquishing those obligations, instead of just ignoring them, makes little difference.

      Segregationists looking for one last criterion to hang their hat on have hit on citizenship as the definition of privilege.  It's not.  Citizenship is sort of like percentages--positive and negative directions aren't equivalent.  Denying citizenship and participation is actually a grant of benefits without expecting any reciprocal behavior--i.e. every person is entitled to equal protection, regardless of whether s/he participates in governing.  Indeed, even foreign nationals who end up under U.S. control are entitled to equal protection as Hamdan v. Rumsfeld just recently affirmed.

      Citizenship = Obligation

      Because this is a free country, we accommodate freeloaders and don't penalize individuals who don't meet their obligations--i.e. civic duties.  Some people, of course, prefer it that way.  They find it easier to exercise power when they don't have to bother with an inquisitive body politic.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:13:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those born with citizenship in the US (0+ / 0-)

        are frequently less enthusiastic than immigrants are and by the same token see things more clearly.  The immigrant is leaving his country of birth and committing to citizenship here, because he or she feels that it's the right thing to do for various reasons.  For the most part immigration is not considered betrayal unless the reason for coming here is to escape from tyranny or other political oppression.

        What's the big deal, it happens every day?

        The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

        by nupstateny on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:28:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I won't flame you. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm a far-left Liberal, at least that's what all my righty friends call me, but I'm also a patriotic American and I love my country. I'm staying, and I will fight until I die for Progressive principles.

    Good on ya for writing this diary, and I REC you.

    "Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day" - Thomas Jefferson

    by sangemon on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:18:30 AM PDT

  •  There are probably (9+ / 0-)

    many people here who have, at least once in their lives, considered other options for their lives. At least if they are being honest. I may not agree with all the rationales put forward by the diarist in question, but I have to admit that many of us would not be in this country now had someone else in our families decided to stay behind and not pursue their own dream.

    All I'm saying is try not to be so harsh with other people's decisions. They might be misguided, but they are their own decisions.

    I don't know if there is a specific prohibition against wanting to "leave America" on this forum or whether it is inappropriate to others goals here, but the revelation certainly did not affect me personally.

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:19:06 AM PDT

    •  If my ancestors had stayed put in Eastern Europe (12+ / 0-)

      I probably would have never been born, because the Nazis probably would have killed the people who became my parents. And I'm far from the only person who probably never would have been born if their ancestors hadn't migrated or escaped.

      •  Well that's what I'm saying (3+ / 0-)

        there are many perspectives to consider including might not be alive, I could be in France..or Quebec and have led a different life. The fact remains we are all where we are because of individual and sometimes familial choices that were made.

        Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

        by valadon on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:49:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Family is also from Eastern Europe; Mom left in.. (4+ / 0-)

        ...1935, barely leaving before WWII (her Dad fought on the Axis' side in WWI). Dad's side came over in 1907/1909. They all made tough decisions, worked hard and moved to the new world for me and their other progeny. Leaving would betray those efforts.

      •  The objection to the other diary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        has nothing to do with immigration.

        It was the defeatism. It's basically a 'GBCW' diary.

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

        by beijingbetty on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:17:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The diarist is not about to be killed by Nazis. (0+ / 0-)

        We're not talking about someone who has to move because of persecution, starvation, or threat to their lives; we're talking about someone with ideological ennui.
        My family moved here, like the families of most people.  And like most people, they didn't crowd on a boat because of some general distaste for the country's history or direction.  Nor did they come here to replace a comfortable life with one better fitting their political ideals.  

        They came here because they couldn't find work or food, or because they were afraid of being killed.  If they didn't have these problems, they'd have stayed.

        •  True, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but there is more than one reason a person might have to come here, and more than one reason a person might consider for leaving here. Your story is but one.

          You don't have to agree with their reason and you might even find it foolish, but ultimately it's not your decision.

          As I've mentioned, my family emigrated here from Quebec in the late 1800's. It wasn't because they were in any danger or because they didn't love their country, but simply because they needed work.

          On the other hand, I am unsure as to their original reason for leaving France several hundred years ago. I can only speculate, but they did want to colonize New France, and several of the women in my family were 'Filles du Roi', ( daughters of the king-women sent to colonize and grow a population).

          I have a deep regard for all the places my family has been, and I don't consider it odd or defeatist to decide that one of my other mother countries might afford me a better or more quality life. or that I might be happier elsewhere.

          At the same time, I have a deep regard for the history we have made here, and how my family became part of that fabric...but things change and circumstances change; and sometimes people's values take a different perspective or they might even come to the last straw in what they are willing to accept or sacrifice.

          I'm happy for all the moves my family made, and I'm also curious as to what my life would have been like had they remained where they were or if I'd make a choice to retrace their steps in an opposite direction or another one entirely. Right now, I live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on an  island that is called Hawaii--far from where they began.

          Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

          by valadon on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:06:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'd thought of leaving while we were under the (11+ / 0-)

    Bush Interregnum. I just couldn't. I'd plan for my niece and nephews escape, "when the time comes", but I'd be damned if I surrendered my country without a fight. Especially when the enemy is a bunch of moronic, 200-word vocabulary, greedheads.

    And I won't say that I haven't been disappointed since January. The guy I worked to elect made a deal with big PhARMA, trading away ~2% of their profits for less advertising dollars supporting his "plan" than one of their mother-killing CEOs earns in a year? Damn right, I was ready to quit.

    But I still can't. It's not that I won't, I can't. I will not surrender my country to the likes of Sarah Palin. Pluto quotes Einstein, who left his home country. Pluto ain't no Einstein, and America is not being "Nazified" no matter what the teabaggers say.

    But the passing of the Honorable Senator Edward M. Kennedy has reminded me that the fight is unending. A better America is worth fighting for. We have been here before, the last Gilded Age, workers have been worse off (see Sinclair's The Jungle) and America has recovered.

    I stay. I stand.

    Remember what FDR said, "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." Have you written/called a congress-critter today? -8.25, -6.21

    by Jacques on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:19:17 AM PDT

  •  While I get what you are saying... (19+ / 0-)

    If EVERY diary on this site was purely about election strategies - this site would be pretty boring.  Look at the Cats vs Dogs Diaries.. or the WYFP diaries, or even the IGTNT Diaries....  really very little, or nothing, to do with electing Democrats - just part of the community. Heck, look at past Diaries written by non-US citizens; why do we care what they have to say?

    Now, I hadn't even looked at Pluto's Diary until looking at this one... and even after looking at it - I couldn't be arsed to read that wall of text.  But at a glance, it looked like the kind of diary which some people would find interesting.  It had a lot of information explaining a world view, and I gathered that the Diarist was using the world view to justify leaving the country.

    It might be part of the Site's goal to "elect more democrats" (Which I've never been a big fan of the goal - cause it is THAT kind of thing which gives us Blue Dogs, and then we all show up here and cry about having Blue Dogs.. well duh).

    So yea, I understand what you are saying - but imagine the results if we only had diaries which related to electoral and policy strategies.

    Flowers Bloom for my Ex - though Honeybees are pretty cool too.

    by Yoshi En Son on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:22:55 AM PDT

    • (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If EVERY diary on this site was purely about election strategies - this site would be pretty boring.

      Not really, as long as candidates, polling, and other analysis were included.

    •  Elect more Dems? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It might be part of the Site's goal to "elect more democrats"

      I think this goal became moot when all the front pagers decided to go after Caroline Kennedy with such venom. She was a progressive, yet kos et al (plus tons of diaries) decided to criticize her so much.

      Who knows what the goal is in reality?

      •  whatever people like kestrel - who self- (0+ / 0-)

        admittedly stated this is their life - deems it to be, whenever they feel like beating someone over the head with it.

        all this is, is an expounding on what kestrel and a few others always do... browbeat and bully others when they disagree.  for all i know, that's the purpose of this site.

        I can break Sean Hannity by giving him a middle seat in coach. -Wanda Sykes

        by jj24 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:42:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  DKos isn't a political committee (7+ / 0-)

    It's an internet community frequented by people of more or less like-mindedness in reference to general political ideas. The way we respond to politics is individually different, and if that means you organize a PAC to stand up for health care, that's great, and if that means you say "screw it" and renounce your citizenship, that's great too.

    The diary got rec'd because clearly it resonated with a lot of people. Passing a value judgment simply because it doesn't hew to this or that conception of political efficacy is both silly and (I think) misrepresents this site as a community.

  •  Reclist theory. (9+ / 0-)

    A diary by a popular person can almost automatically on the rec list almost no matter what they write.  So I assume if I find an extremely familiar name up there I usually pass it up, depending on the subject, assuming it's more likely than not mediocre.

    OTOH, a diary with an interesting title by an unknown that may get no recs I many times open and am excited to see a good new talent with an interesting subject.

    I believe many others feel this way too.  So since this site gets very roughly a million hits a day and a popular person gets maybe fifty recs and gets up on top yet again...

    The avarage non-recced diary may very well have a thousand times the traffic the recced diary gets.

    An example of an exception:  Those diaries by lesser knowns or unknowns that get on top usually deserve to be there and are probably the most popular of all.

    Another exception:  The IGTNT and similar diaries always deserve to be on top.

    There are other exceptions to be sure -- I just hypothesized a general theory of mine.

    "Well, only two kinds of people wear red shoes; and you ain't no Spanish dancer." -- Miguel Ferrer, "In the Groove" (Tales From the Crypt)

    by dov12348 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:25:29 AM PDT

    •  However I have no idea how the... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      math4barack, AuroraDawn

      ...diary referred to made the rec list. It's an interesting piece of phenomena though.  I suppose if I read the diary I might find it had split up into a lot of fascinating debate -- and thus the quality of the comments upped the chances of recommendation.  

      "Well, only two kinds of people wear red shoes; and you ain't no Spanish dancer." -- Miguel Ferrer, "In the Groove" (Tales From the Crypt)

      by dov12348 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:31:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sorry, but this seems just plain dumb (6+ / 0-)

      So I assume if I find an extremely familiar name up there I usually pass it up, depending on the subject, assuming it's more likely than not mediocre.

      I don't write a whole lot of diaries, but they make the Rec List more often than not.  At least for the last coupla years, if not for the entire four years I've been active here.  I like to think my work does well because I put a lot of work into them, and tell stories that interest people.  Not because I'm "popular".  If I am "popular", it's because of the work of building a reputation for producing a certain kind of work over the years.

      I "get" not Reccing stuff that's already on the Rec List.  I often make that choice myself, to give more voices a chance for the extra exposure the Rec List brings a story.  But assuming that anything by "an extremely familiar name" is "mediocre", and therefore not reading it?  That's ridiculous.  You really think this is mediocre?  I'm really curious on this.  I'm a familiar name (to most users) and so my work on the Rec List must be mediocre?  Where do you get that crap?

      Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall always be amused.

      by Land of Enchantment on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:02:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now that looks like a masterwork. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If your work is even close to that calibre generally you would certainlty be one of the exceptions.

        My theory was a very general one, just based on the probable psychology of the general reader.

        There are familiar people who get up to the top often simply because they do super high-quality work often.  You would be one of those.

        "Well, only two kinds of people wear red shoes; and you ain't no Spanish dancer." -- Miguel Ferrer, "In the Groove" (Tales From the Crypt)

        by dov12348 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:15:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the compliment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dov12348, math4barack

          But only partly true.  I don't post a whole lot of diaries.

          I do agree that sometimes so-so entries from popular diarists perhaps make the Rec List even though not outstanding work.  But to assume that's the case is nuts.  People who become "popular" diarists started out unknown once upon a time.  The visibility over time comes as the result of their work.  Even if not always great, the overall body of work has got merit.

          Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall always be amused.

          by Land of Enchantment on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 06:45:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But they many times... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...crowd out fantastic pieces of work by unknowns.

            Also many could have started out fine but got complacent.

            Trust me I've seen a lot of "ok" and junky stuff on top by popular people.  Of course as well as great stuff.  But their name always gets up there.

            Of course there are many who, like you, simply do exemplary work most or all of the time.

            But I can't go further than this if it requires calling somebody out. I'm not going to call anybody out.  

            "Well, only two kinds of people wear red shoes; and you ain't no Spanish dancer." -- Miguel Ferrer, "In the Groove" (Tales From the Crypt)

            by dov12348 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:38:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's a reason not to Rec them. (0+ / 0-)

              But I still think it's stupid to not read them because the author is (what you call) "popular."  Anything you don't read, you have no right whatsoever to judge in any way.  Mediocre or not?  You've got no way of knowing.  Not if you don't read them - which is what you said.  You don't read them.

              Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall always be amused.

              by Land of Enchantment on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:24:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, I DO read them. (0+ / 0-)

                If the diary title catches my eye and I'm intetrested. I don't exclude anyone.  I'm only saying that a bias has grown with me and probably with many others that, regarding say a 10 out of 10 recommended diarist a month, and 97 out of 100 a year, with respect to SOME diarists, I'm more likely to pass on than a fresh face and maybe talent as well below.

                If I said or implied I NEVER read them under any circumstance, I misspoke.

                I don't make any absolutes here.

                "Well, only two kinds of people wear red shoes; and you ain't no Spanish dancer." -- Miguel Ferrer, "In the Groove" (Tales From the Crypt)

                by dov12348 on Mon Aug 31, 2009 at 02:32:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are now contradicting yourself (0+ / 0-)

                  What you said, which I responded to is this:

                  So I assume if I find an extremely familiar name up there I usually pass it up, depending on the subject, assuming it's more likely than not mediocre.

                  To me, "pass it up" means you don't read it (on the assumption that it's "mediocre.")  You're arguing against yourself at this point.

                  Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall always be amused.

                  by Land of Enchantment on Mon Aug 31, 2009 at 04:45:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  It's always possible that I'm being... (0+ / 0-)

        ....overly cynical.  I've been here over three years and have seen enough to where I thought this theory's time has come -- at least as a hypothesis.  In any case, I'll never reference a name or diary(ies).

        "Well, only two kinds of people wear red shoes; and you ain't no Spanish dancer." -- Miguel Ferrer, "In the Groove" (Tales From the Crypt)

        by dov12348 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:25:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Whist I'm an expat (10+ / 0-)

    The reasons for being an expat are personal.

    ie. Love.

    I feel a rant coming on either I publish a prepared diary or I'm going to play hell with the spoilt brats here.

    It would be curious to discover who it is to whom one writes in a diary. Possibly to some mysterious personification of one's own identity. Beatrice Webb

    by LaFeminista on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:25:40 AM PDT

  •  One answer to despair in others is anger. (17+ / 0-)

    Another is disappointment.

    Another is compassion.

    Another is acknowledgment that the reasons for this despair are many, lasting, pervasive and the diary in question is a weather report on the road to greater progress.

    We each have three ways to leave the America - to die, to emigrate, to change the weather we don't like.

    The last is of course quite challenging and not everyone likes the rain.

    We should at least let them get warm and dry, then invite them back out in the rain when they're ready.

  •  When your house is in disaray, the responsible (11+ / 0-)

    thing to do is to do the hard work of putting it right.  You don't walk away from that house, and start living in another one.

    The "America - Love it or Leave it" crowd in the Vietnam days - mostly Southern "war" patriots - didn't understand why we wouldn't "leave it".  As responsible people, we chose to fix the problem instead.

    And we did so.

    ". . there will be a temptation . . to try to appear constructive, or at least responsible. My advice . . resist the temptation." - W. Kristol

    by thenekkidtruth on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:26:34 AM PDT

  •  Pluto's sentiment is hardly unique (11+ / 0-)

    Even in American history. I agree it is well written. Just be glad He/She espouses such high ideals for the human condition.

    Capitalism has made it this way - old fashioned fascism will take it away.... Marilyn Manson

    by Captain Janeway on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:28:50 AM PDT

  •  Public Service Announcement.... (14+ / 0-)

    Living the expat life is not for most Americans. Leaving the USA without living in the intended home for a while is just plain irrational. Here in SE Asia, we have Westerners coming out all of the time thinking they will find paradise only to return, disillusioned and broke, to the USA in less than a year.

    Talk is cheap. Mistakes are not.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:29:41 AM PDT

  •  as Moyer's said: we're all in the same boat. (14+ / 0-)

    it doesn't so much matter where we live, kes.

    it matters what we are willing to do to enact sustainable solutions for an entire planet.

    i live in europe (fell in love and viola suddenly i'm in Nederland... but that's a whole other story) . . .

    i sometimes feel helpless here, not being able to get out in the fall and knock on doors and work local in order to reverse what i call trickle-down politics.

    i want gravity-defying politics.

    good luck to pluto. and to you. to all of us. we need it. and let's double think before we do more line-drawing and more finger-wagging. ashamed? of the community for their response? not at all.

    "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

    by pfiore8 on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:30:09 AM PDT

  •  When I was younger, I shared Pluto's sentiments (15+ / 0-)

    for a time, became very interested in Canada and Scandinavia.  Then, with the Vietnam era behind us, I developed stronger ties to the American way of life.  Our land is no utopia, but in my mind, Pluto's dystopian vision of the USA is his/her own flawed perception, one that seems to have become doggedly focused on, and exxagerative of, the negative. I won't condemn Pluto's inclination to move on in search of a more perfect environment - part of our species' success has been derived from our inclination to continuously explore the planet and mingle with folks from other lands - but my family and I will not be following.  Cape May County's not such a bad place, really, even if at times it seems a teabagger haven.

  •  wow, I can really see why Pluto (10+ / 0-)

    wants to leave. I mean, if you represent the so called liberal open minded leftie of America.

    Your last comment is telling.

  •  At some point, people "vote with their feet" -- (12+ / 0-)

    -- and whining about it won't stop them.

    I myself am living indefinitely outside the US -- not by design really, but because employment and other conditions made it un-livable for me and I had to take my opportunities where I could find them.

    That doesn't mean I want to stop being an American -- but, yeah I suppose if the chain of social and economic fiascoes in the US keeps cascading onwards, then eventually I'll have to accept that my "temporary" self-expatriation will slide into permanence...

    That's just the way it is.  When countries and other institutions fail, a lot of people who can get out, do.

  •  Was in a diary yesterday (8+ / 0-)

    where a post in reply to mine said that anyone killing American soldiers is not a terrorist.

    What, are we engaging against any nation's army right now?  You mean we're fighting against the duly elected leadership in Afghanistan?

    There is astonishing anti-American sentiment on this blog,

  •  It's like dueling banjos! (9+ / 0-)

    You and Pluto are 1-2 on the rec list.

  •  It's ironic that in a country made of immigrants, (16+ / 0-)

    who came to US to seek the valued "freedom", the same freedom to emigrate should not be available to their descendants to emigrate to other countries.

    What is this, Hotel California ? or my country is the bestest meme ?

    And your flaming the entire community for one person's personal decision is a bit being melodramatic. It's kinda reverse brain-drain and it happens.

    And also to assume that dkos is a community of only americans is a bit a parochial.

    Between birthers, deathers and mouth-breathers, the gop has got 'teh crazy' and 'teh stoopid' covered.

    by amk for obama on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:35:38 AM PDT

    •  Bingo. My grandparents came here, probably (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, amk for obama

      for some of the same reasons others now want to leave. So be it. I didn't rec Pluto's diary but I understand the sentiment. What gets me is that people jumped all over Pluto for being narcissistic and self-centered, then they have the temerity to tell him where and how to live.

      stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

      by Mother Mags on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 08:14:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't mind a diary about leaving the US (10+ / 0-)

    If it were written intelligently and soberly with a knowledge of the history of the world and the good and bad points of different countries.

    That wasn't Pluto's diary.

    What I saw was an ignorant mishmash of faux-science and half-brained politics, ungrounded in any form or shape of reality.  The big tell for me was Pluto's unwillingness to say what country his precious "genetics" had pointed to, or where he intends to go.  And the second big fly in the ointment is that, apparently, he has no intention of giving up American citizenship!

    That's enough to paste the whole project as bogus from the get-go.  (Then there's Pluto's "plan" to keep alive using his mad skillz as a money-changer.  Yeah right.)

    Sure, there are parts of U.S. history that are crummy.  There are parts of any country's history that are crummy.  Maybe we should all wave the Penguin Flag of the Antarctic Republic and escape the problems of being human; but that's not a realistic approach.  

    •  Renouncing citizenship (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IM, AuroraDawn

      She said she'd renounce her citizenship.

      •  Some countries require it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        truong son traveler, redstar

        such as the country I live in but has an exclusion for financial circumstances that I hope goes in my favor due to my VA benefits.

        Hello? Hello? Hunter? Hunter what? Ain't nobody doing no huntin' up here, fool! This is a party not a safari!

        by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:56:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you read carefully (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Pluto says that he intends to continue to pay taxes to the United States.

        This indicates that he either intends to remain a citizen of the United States, or is under the illusion that he can renounce citizenship while remaining a resident of the United States.  (N.b., you can't: you have to acquire citizenship and residence abroad.)

      •  Pluto DENIES an intention to renounce citizenship (0+ / 0-)

        See here.

         I Mentioned "Shedding US Citizenship" in the context of being the world. I would prefer not to be identified as an American. This is what a second or third passport would facilitate. I will continue to pay taxes in the US unless I decide to renounce my citizenship.

        The Euro citizenship came up because it is easy for me to qualify. I can just as easily get a Panamanian passport through other means. There is no connection between the Passport and where I choose to live. One can live just about anywhere in the world with or without citizenship if you have a means of support.

        You see now?  It's all clear.  Pluto intends to shed American citizenship, not renounce it.  In other words, Pluto wants to keep American citizenship, just get another passport that will allow him/her to pass him/herself off as a foreign citizen.  But when push comes to shove, it'll all be "I'm an American!  Get me out of here!"

        I suspect that if Pluto ever tries to put these ideas into practice -- not that I think he/she has any intention of doing so -- he/she will find that it's not quite as easy to get that "Euro citizenship" as he/she thinks.  Especially not if Pluto's diary and comments are submitted as evidence -- most European countries aren't going to be impressed with someone who's seeking alternate citizenship out of pique.

  •  Some of you people (13+ / 0-)

    needs to go outside a little bit, cross the ocean, see how many people would give their right hand to become Americans. At least there's something to fight for. Especially now, when you have a president from the good side and the potential is huge. As difficult as it is, the potential is huge.

    "Where all Obama's people to help him with this now? He is like Michael Jordan on a VERY, VERY, VERY bad team". - Bill Maher.

    by blackwaterdog on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:36:51 AM PDT

    •  And that is exactly what Pluto intends to do. (0+ / 0-)

      So what is the big problem?

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on