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I just got back from a ten-day vacation from all things internet, to find my inbox stuffed with about fifty appeals from one progressive organization or another. I deleted them all without reading a single one of them.

You sign on to one, you eventually get them all. They proliferate wantonly. After a while it becomes ridiculous - a person can't possible participate in all these various causes at once, no matter how worthy of attention each one of them may be, individually.

It is past time for the Left to get its shit together, and the easiest way to do that is via the net. When the most committed of us are besieged daily with numerous calls to action on multiple fronts, it becomes impractical to respond to them all. Or eventually, lacking the time and will to sort through them, to any of them.

This seems to me a tremendous waste of time and energy. I don't like deleting messages from people whose goals I share, but I do it anyway. Purely for the sake of convenience. As if the message were simply a niusance, like your average TV commercial.

Unity is the path to reformation. We will never change this god-awful system of exploitation and permanent warfare and bondage until we "come together" as John Lennon says, right now. If we keep on attacking the behemoth of the MIC and the banking cartels piecemeal, according to this or that special interest, they will defeat us.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, cotterperson

    and I feel guilty flagging them as spam.  sigh

  •  Just a hint, create a 'circular file' mailbox for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, petral

    use when registering an email address required, but odds are it may get spam slammed.  You can always got back and check it out for anything worthwhile.

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:44:56 PM PDT

  •  It's true (15+ / 0-)

    I quit signing petitions and interacting with any political site or cause that requires my name or email to be entered online because it's impossible to take all of the emails seriously.  

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:48:22 PM PDT

  •  I must get 30 emails a day (16+ / 0-)

    asking for money or to support a good cause. You just can't deal with the volume. I occasionally have given to certain races that I really want the Dem to win, but I am now getting barraged with so many I don't even look at them anymore, just delete. I hear what you are saying!

  •  That's why I keep two separate email addys (8+ / 0-)

    At least.

    One for the genuine stuff from friends, family and colleagues, and one to use to sign up to websites (like this one...sorry Kos), shopping, etc. that I consider my junk mail.  

    And since there aren't any political causes I have much patience for, progressive or otherwise, all that gets moved from junk to spam to trash rather quickly.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:01:12 PM PDT

  •  Me, too! (7+ / 0-)

    It feels bad to delete them, but I must. Most of them I don't consider spam, just a result of a petition I signed or something. From what I see, some progressive groups share my email address with other progressive groups. Many, many of them come from candidates in another state asking for money I likely don't have.

    It is a political problem, because it disrupts our communication when we most need to be standing together.

    Wish I knew how to fix it!

    Thanks for bringing it up, native.

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:03:57 PM PDT

  •  Every good thing gets spammed out the wazoo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    Abandon all hope.  It's like weeds.  You know, my phone just rang 4 times in the last 1/2 hour with junk calls.  The shit multiplies.  It doesn't matter if it's a phone number, an email address, or anything a computer can dial or send to.

    The only solution is to ignore it.  And just because you didn't used to get inundated with requests doesn't mean the causes didn't used to exist.  It's just in your face now, that's the only difference.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:04:56 PM PDT

  •  So true (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, True North, highacidity, Sunspots

    I feel guilty because I can't give to them all but hail, I'm on a fixed income--it only goes so far. I no longer give my phone number to anyone but friends and family.

    I do think I'll stop signing all those petitions for causes I believe in. It's just too much.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:09:30 PM PDT

  •  When I gave Tammy Baldwin money in 2012, (3+ / 0-)

    I sent her a paper check--and did not provide an email address.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:25:19 PM PDT

  •  Ray Pensadorwhere are you? (0+ / 0-)
  •  What you need is an alias account (0+ / 0-)

    Many people use them. Maybe is available now....

    There are no profits in ensuring human rights so don't expect your government to do so.

    by The Green Nugget on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:47:26 PM PDT

  •  Does Obama really need to hit me up for $3 daily? (0+ / 0-)


    On another note, those emails are pretty awful.  About half of them are complete crocks.  They seem to have no one reviewing them for accuracy and silliness.

    •  Obama has provided a focus (0+ / 0-)

      for progressive energies. Only not a very reliable one.

      •  It's hard to imagine the Left coalescing around (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, pvasileff

        any single entity now.  The groups all seem to be yelping in competition for our attention.  And way too much of it is about lampooning the Right and far too little about where we go from here.

      •  This is why it worries me that Dem politicians (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, Free Jazz at High Noon

        and issue groups want access to OFA's database.

        OFA is one of the only entities that I've given my real email address and personal info to.

        I'll be furious -- and completely alienated -- if that account is spammed all to heck by people that I never wanted to have my personal information.

        I once gave to an out-of-state congressional candidate highly recommended by dailykos at the very beginning of our moneyraising days. That guy must have sold his donor list to every single candidate that asked. I was getting hit up for money daily for that state's agricultural commissioner elections. I only live across the country and really don't care too much who runs their agriculture commission in the big scheme of things.

        This idea of sharing (selling)  personal information is unethical. I don't know why anyone thinks because it's for a good cause that it's ok.

        It's not.

        It's made me much less likely to donate. And I don't sign petitions at all.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:46:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  only 50 in ten days? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, highacidity

    that is maybe 2 days for me.  Deleting them is a daily chore.  Rare that i actually read them, and it takes to long to unsubscribe (to something I never subscribed to in the first place).

    Power to the Peaceful!

    by misterwade on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:09:29 PM PDT

  •  turtles and anarchists (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, Byrnt, terrypinder

    Consolidation and focusing of issues across the (lefty) board is not going to happen, unfortunately. It's something I sometimes wish for whenever I see a protest march with signs ranging from "free Mumia" to "we are the 99%."

    And, of course, with everyone sending out their various emails, it can get a little annoying. But people will still follow their own passions (or try to make their own mark online, raise their own funds or profiles,) regardless, so perhaps the answer for you and others is to just choose whichever group is your best fit--and unsubscribe from all the other lists. You'll be able to better focus your time and attention and perhaps help your chosen org become more effective.

    Or, you can simply delete it all, as needed :)

    True radicalism is finding reasons for hope, not grounds for despair. - Ray Williams

    by Nanette K on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:16:23 PM PDT

    •  Good suggestion, Nanette. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've been trying to do that myself, but it is still a battle the way the email groups link to each other and overlap.
      I wonder why so few get involved with the effort that Daily Kos member, Ray Pensador, has been proposing, or is he too unrealistic about time and committments? I especially enjoy his commentaries and perspectives.

      •  thanks, byrnt (0+ / 0-)

        The internet has helped groups expand access and raise money, but things seem a little stuck in a rut, right now.  Needs new thinking.
        I don't know what Ray has proposed, sorry.

        True radicalism is finding reasons for hope, not grounds for despair. - Ray Williams

        by Nanette K on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:23:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why are you so sure (0+ / 0-)

      "it's not going to happen"? I think it very possibly might happen, and certainly could happen.

      You can't deny that all the various progressive causes share a common underlying theme, or perhaps gestalt would be a better word.

      This theme has yet to be formulated into a politically operative principle, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. As the current corporate/banking hegemony continues to rage out of control, worldwide, such an alternative paradigm becomes ever more imperative. And I would say, inevitable.

      •  I'll just say... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It hasn't been done yet. And, I'm afraid, I don't really see any way to do it. People focus on what is most important to them.

        Take you, for instance. Your primary focus (or, at least, what I have seen you mention most,) seems to be--"the current corporate/banking
        hegemony"--which, of course, is very important, but nowhere near the top of some people's lists.

        Can't force passion.  

        True radicalism is finding reasons for hope, not grounds for despair. - Ray Williams

        by Nanette K on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:30:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I Use My Tech Skills to Manage This (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, pvasileff

    I just run my own web server and email server out of my residence, on a Comcast business class account. Have done so for decades as part of my career  before retirement.

    For all online political activity, I have one primary and a couple of special accounts I use, which are kept totally separate from the ones I use for personal contacts and ongoing consulting work.

    The primary one I have used for years for political activity online fills up every day with 50 - 100 emails. I don't even make an effort to read them, I just scan in case I am expecting one that might be significant, like a reply to a question or an account issue at some site.

    90p% of the time when I set up a business relation for paying bills or online shopping, I just create a special account name for each one. That way, if one of those goes rogue, or exposes or sells that email address, I just delete the account, and it does not impact any of the others.

    Not a practical solution for most people, but since I have the tech skills and have maintained the infrastructure into retirement since I still do consulting, and have a couple of personal websites, I figure, heck, I might as well take advantage of it.

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:46:32 PM PDT

    •  There you go. (0+ / 0-)

      An eminently intelligent solution to the problem of too many progressive emails for you. But not an intelligent solution to the problem of effective progressive focusing.

      The problem of harnessing the inherent energy and will of individual progressives toward an effective outcome.

  •  The emails that drive me crazy are the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, pvasileff

    campaigns that ask for money at the end of the quarter in order to make their numbers look good in their FEC filings.  Why do they think voters like me would care about phony, inside baseball junk like that?  If they want to boost their numbers permanently, then they should run better campaigns, send less spam, and inspire people to donate to them.

  •  Here's what I do: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, pvasileff

    I always uncheck the box that says "Please send me regular updates...."

    Then when I get emails from organizations or candidates I have supported, I always unsubscribe by clicking that little link at the bottom.  That cuts down on a lot of emails.  Only once have I regretted this when I discovered that I missed a great candidate event featuring Wendy Davis.  But that's the breaks.

    The main thing is to not feel guilty about deleting or ignoring most of what you get.  You aren't withdrawing your support from progressive causes, you are simply saving your sanity.  When you are ready to give again or reengage, it's easy enough to reconnect.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:20:46 PM PDT

    •  Yes of course, that's good advice. (0+ / 0-)

      I just can't help but feel that a lot of goodwill is being squandered by a lack of solidarity, or specific focus.

      •  It just goes with the territory (0+ / 0-)

        and I don't fret over it anymore.  Except at election time when I start getting a trillion phone calls.  With those, I say "I don't give money over the phone.  Please take me off your calling list."

        I agree about the lack of coordination, but I'm resigned to that, too.

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:26:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hotmail has regular maintainence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    features, where it will sweep out new emails. I've set mine to sweep most political email after two days. So if I don't catch an email from OFA or my congressman within a day, Hotmail just clears it out of there.

    I've set all my catalogs to do the same. The newsletters for the several charities I give to regularly get swept after several days as well. If I don't  read them right away, I'm not going to.

    It's pretty handy.

    That said, every one of my charities maintains a do not contact/do not solicit list. I never hear from them unless I specifically ask to. There is simply no reason why a small 501c3 charity run by volunteers can manage to do this and major political groups can't.

    They can. They choose not to.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:52:56 PM PDT

    •  Didn't hotmail become Outlook? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I had a hotmail account and it seems to switch me over automatically to Outlook.   Actually, I liked hotmail better.

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:31:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. officially it did. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But I still access it at My account is still called So I still call it hotmail.

        Outlook to me is the Microsoft Office thingy that I buy and install on my laptop. Well, that my help desk tech guy buys and installs on my laptop  because that's why I married him: to do my computer stuff and to do home electrical projects.

        (Ok, he's a nice guy too. Plus the dogs adore him.)


        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 12:12:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I gave my email address out to a person in my (0+ / 0-)

    writing group. When I saw the collective intake of breath, I realized it was a mistake. By the time I got home I was locked out of my account. I had no idea what anything was because the account was so old. I had to make new accounts. Finally after much time I got back into my old account. Now it is my junk account.

    You really need a junk account.

  •  yeah. i flag all of them as spam. (0+ / 0-)

    every single one.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

    by terrypinder on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:15:31 AM PDT

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