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Today I did something I've never done before (not even during the Fraudster mess), and wish I'd never had to do.

I made a mass banning of people perpetuating a series of bizarre, off-the-wall, unsupported and frankly embarassing conspiracy theories.

I have a high tolerance level for material I deem appropriate for this site, but one thing I REFUSE to allow is bullshit conspiracy theories. You know the ones -- Bush and Blair conspired to bomb London in order to take the heat off their respective political problems. I can't imagine what fucking world these people live in, but it sure ain't the Reality Based Community.

So I banned these people, and those that have been recommending diaries like it. And I will continue to do so until the purge is complete, and make no mistake -- this is a purge.

This is a reality-based community. Those who wish to live outside it should find a new home. This isn't it.

Update: I've been reinstating some of the banned accounts as they email me. Some people wondered why there wasn't any warning. There have been warnings from others -- repeated pleadings for people to ground themselves in reality.

It's telling that I have NEVER done something like this before. Because this has been an extreme situation. This isn't about disagreeing with what people are saying. If that was the case, everyone would've been banned by now. The myth of the "echo chamber" is just that. A myth.

But as for warnings, well, this has been my warning. I wanted it clear that I was serious, and I think that has come through. I am reinstating those who ask to be reinstated. But the message has been sent.

Originally posted to kos on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:48 AM PDT.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Good. (4.00)
    Who wants Kos to become the Little Green Footballs or FreeRepublic of the left. Time to shun the crazies.
    •  Thanks (none)
      Someone else can start Little Blue Footballs.  

      "¡Juntos Pedemos!"

      by rhubarb on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:22:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if there is any truth to the... (none)
        ...we're being invaded by puglican plants rumor, this would help kill it.

        never underestimate social psychology

        by creativedissonance on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:24:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Juntos podemos! (4.00)
        "Pedemos" means something entirely different (but even more appropriate for conspiracy nuts)

        ZNet Commentary

         In a pitch to politically significant Latino voters, one of the banners proclaimed "Juntos Podemos"-Together We Can. But the Houston Chronicle reported it as Juntos Pedemos-We Fart Together. For many Americans, that's a fair summation of what today's political system delivers.

        When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

        by lawnorder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:32:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yup (none)
          one massive brain fart.
        •  Well, that's certainly something to aspire to. (none)
          Buenos Nachos!

          Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
          --M.L. King, Jr.

          by MasonLee on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:36:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks (none)
          I needed a good laugh.
          That does describe LGF pretty well.

          Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? -Marcus Tullius Cicero

          by justme on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:35:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That not the first HouChron Spanish bungle ... (none)
          Fifteen years or so ago on New Years Day, the Chronicle featured on the front page of the Metro section a collage of Houston New Years revelers and the phrase "Happy New Years" in several different languages.  A nice little idea in theory.

          Now I don't have a profane Spanish speaker handy so I can't say exactly the word they mistook for "Years" in Spanish, but the meaning ended up being "Happy New Asshole" (or "Ass").  I thought it was appropriate for the a story about an election-winning politician, but not so much for New Years Day.

          •  As I understand is ... (none)
            Ano with the tilde over the n means year.

            pronounced "anyo"

            Ano with no tilde is anus.

            My Spanish has deteriorated terribly, but I used to correspond with a few Spanish-speaking people via e-mail. When I was using the word year, I would type - "anyo" - because I couldn't type the n-tilde symbol.

            America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

            by Tony Seybert on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:39:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Año, Anio and Ano (none)
              a tilde is ALT+0241, and if that doesn't work, most type "anio."

              Reminds me of the great pain I once had representing to an agent in Madrid a Portuguese-language publishing house called "Ano Luz."

              "Light Anus"  

              "¡Juntos Pedemos!"

              by rhubarb on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:02:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  "Happy New Asshole" (none)
            The perfect New Years card for 2000 and 2004


            When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

            by lawnorder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:13:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Who decides which conspiracy theories (4.00)
      are acceptable?

      The American people were lied to repeatedly in order to go to war against Iraq.  Conspiracy theory?  Nope, fact.

      The growth of paperless voting machines along with partisan election maneuvering has made recent election results highly dubious.  Fact.  (and by the way, how further are we in the fight to get paper trail voting?  .... thought so.  Fraudsters were told to "Go away.  We have plenty of time.  Nothin to see in Ohio.  Move along.")

      Pearl Harbor?

      Lee Harvey Oswald?

      Don't know enough about either of the last two to decide either way.  That's up to the individual.

      I dunno.  There was a bunch of other legitimate "conspiracy theories" that a guy listed in a diary yesterday that were in actuality highly debatable/likely with many elements of truth and people falling on both sides.  But I can't find the diary anymore because it has been deleted.

      I agree with you regarding London being a pretty whacked out conspiracy, one that I never put forth.

      But we have to be very, very careful with where we are going here with what is deemed acceptable discourse.

      The Bush administration continually pushes the boundaries of "conspiracy theory" into fact.  We all know now that every word that comes out of Bush and Cheney are stacks of lies.

      How sad is it that people nowadays are even forced to wonder when something like this happens?  I didn't yesterday, but I don't fault a minority for wondering ... just a bit.

      •  It helps (4.00)
        to at least have a shred of even circumstancial evidence to support your claim instead of just wild anti-bush accusations.

        Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:43:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you have a shred of edvidence (4.00)
          that Al Qaeda orchestrated the attack in London?  Granted, we have an admission of guilt that was posted on some Arabic language website yesterday.  One that, from what I understand, had some mis-quotes from the Qur'aan. But does that constitute proof?  Could that be used in a court of law?

          Do we have any proof the Osama Bin Asshole orchestrated the 911 attacks?  NO!  We have all chosen to believe our governments account of the events, because to think otherwise would be too difficult to comprehend.  And why shouldn't we believe our government?  It's not like they are the most corrupt administration since the dawn of the republic who have lied to us every fucking step of the way.

          I think it's a real shame when Kos feels the need to ban people for not thinking in LOCK-STEP with the party line.  I did not contribute to the so-called "conspiracy" theories in question, but they have a place in and a right to join the discussion.  If they are too out of whack with the majority of us then ultimately they will be ignored and eventually disappear.

          •  Other than... (4.00)
            Do we have any proof the Osama Bin Asshole orchestrated the 911 attacks?  NO!

            Well, I think you mean other than the several video tapes he released admitting to it... yeah, no real proof. here or here

            I think it's a real shame when Kos feels the need to ban people for not thinking in LOCK-STEP with the party line.

            Oh give me a break.

            You claim there is no proof that bin Laden did 9/11, and you want to say it's just cause you aren't in lockstep.

            I'm sorry, but that's just plain not thinking at all... not whether you are in lockstep.

            •  Baloney. (none)
              So you feel OBL must have orchestrated the attacks simply because he claimed responsibility? That, on its own, is no proof.

              That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Teddy Roosevelt

              by assyrian64 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:07:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Uh huh (none)
                OBL admits to doing something, but I shouldn't believe him because... uhh, why exactly?

                A confession is generally admissable evidence in a court of law.  What evidence do you have to support your point of view?

                Kos should ban a few more people, me thinks.  Go to Democratic Underground where they can flourish in their noise.

              •  also (none)
                IIRC, those videos - when translated by non-US government translators - never explicitly said that OBL claimed responsibility for 9/11. So there really is no "reality-based" proof.
            •  Really (none)
              I won't get into it but GO research this okay? Look at when it came out. Look at WHO found the tape. Look at the tape!

              How long did it take BL to admit to the attacks? How long does it USUALLY take to claim that you did the bombing etc.? A day?

              "It was the first footage of bin Laden to appear in more than a year and came just days before voters head to the polls Tuesday after an extremely tight president race."

              I guess it's all a coincidence. Damn those nuts!

          •  Good point (none)
            "Granted, we have an admission of guilt that was posted on some Arabic language website yesterday.  One that, from what I understand, had some mis-quotes from the Qur'aan. But does that constitute proof?  Could that be used in a court of law?"

            Similarly "Al Qaeda" also claimed responsibility for the Northeastern blackout in 2003

            It makes sense to always intially regard these types of claims, whether from terrorists or from lying governments, from a reasonable, sceptical point of view.

            That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Teddy Roosevelt

            by assyrian64 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:57:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Rubbish (none)
              There is plenty of evidence of non-Al Qaeda causes for the Northeast blackout, not so for the 9/11 attack.  I suppose there's also no evidence of their involvement in the 1st WTC attack, the bombings of the embassies in east Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole? Those all occured under the Clinton Administration, were they in on the blame Al Qaeda plot?
              •  Pshaw. (4.00)
                "There is plenty of evidence of non-Al Qaeda causes for the Northeast blackout, not so for the 9/11 attack."

                Your argument is badly formed. Your argument would have been better if you had simply stated "Unlike the 2003 blackout, there is real evidence that 9-11 was caused by Al Qaeda." Lets pretend you made your argument this way. To that I'd answer: "Please provide me that evidence." Good luck with your Googling. If you can provide real evidence, I will believe, 100%, that Al Qaeda was only behind 9-11.

                It seems you make the mistake of confusing those of us who are sceptics, who believe something might be true, or even probably is true, but not completely proven, with people who make statements with no basis in reality. That is unfortunate.

                That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Teddy Roosevelt

                by assyrian64 on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 12:13:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Evidence and RESPECT (none)
            People in London are in shock, some are mourning. You remeber how it felt on 9/11, don't you ? The last thing they want to hear NOW is some wide eyed, poorly researched, paranoid theory that the attack was done by one of their own.

            I too harbor my misgivings about how convenient this was for Bush. But this is just based on the lack of trust I have for the man. So I said nothing about my feelings of suspicion out of respect for the victims

            When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

            by lawnorder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:00:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  And one more thing. (4.00)
          There have been a large number of diaries on this site and articles on other sites devoted to the Valerie Plame outing.  Everyone seems to believe that Karl Rove is the man in the Whitehouse who outed her identity to the reporters, including myself.  I.E. : Raw Story has an article titled "Seventeen in House sign call for Rove to quit over CIA outing."  Wow, I guess he's guilty as charged.

          Do we have proof yet that he outed her, or just that he was in some way involve?  To read all the diaries, you would the think that the case has alrerady been solved and Rove is doing time in jail, but that is not the case.  Once again, Rove's guilt is another Conspiracy Theory; but it's a conspiracy theory everyone here seems to embrace.  Don't be fucking hypocrites and come back to the reality-based community or be prepared to be banned.

      •  Would you have banned (4.00)
        all of these persons, who were mostly definetely believed to be wild-eyed conspiracy theorists:

        Woodward and Berstein, who carried Watergate for months before anyone else would touch it?

        Those who questioned the accuracy of the Warren Report, years before Congress officially declared that it was innaccurate? ('Nuff said on JFK death)

        The beltway sources in the 60's who leaked that the CIA was working with the Mob against Castro?

        Those on the left who felt that J. Edgar Hoover was conducting "counterintelligence" to destroy those he didn't like?

        Persons who believed that during the Cold War the CIA was conducting mind control experiments on its own personnel, and opening Americans' mail on a widespread basis?

        Am I allowed to post if I believe these things?

        Take the fight to them. Don't let them bring it to you. - Harry S. Truman

        by jgoodfri on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:00:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  hey - be happy (none)
        seems you made it through the purge! You should be thanking kos and pledging your allegiance. (joke)

        I think your point is well taken that Bushco have done so much wack shit that it boggles the mind. What would have been yesterday's c-r-a-z-y conspiracy theory is today's shrugged shoulder. But today's conspiracy fanatics (and they still exist) end up JUSTIFYING what Bush is doing by making all criticism seem like wackjob conspiracy theories.

        Conspiracy theories can be fun but should be in a different place than where you try to bring down Bushco.

        All extremists are irrational and should be exposed

        by SeanF on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:11:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well Kos decides... (4.00)
        Just because he banned people from his site does not mean they cannot start their own.

        This is just like a pub owner kicking out someone offensive.  He has a delicate decision, kick the person out and offend his patrons or not kick him out and offend his patrons.

        While I would prefer to have a space that is open to all points of view it is ultimately his decision.

        All I can say is a "broken clock is right twice a day" (for all you analog oldsters) or "even paranoids have enemies"

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:13:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Evidence separates them. (3.83)
        If several months or even weeks from now, we have an alternate explanation of this bombing, that has a chain of connected events with even some circumstantial evidence, and also some direct evidence why the official story doesn't add up, then that's different.

        But to seriously entertain conspiracy theories at this point in time, with no evidence other than thinking the bombing might hypothetically in some way benefit someone - well, that's like blaming the Tsunami on Bush and Blair.

        "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

        by jbeach on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:31:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  simple and clear (none)
          Your explanation is right on. There's a big leap from being a skeptic to being a conspiracy theorist. It doesn't matter that today's crazy ideas may be tommorow's facts. An intelligent person may at least consider the idea that BushCo is responsible for untold amounts of evil in the world, but to waste much time gnashing your teeth over it (in public, no less) without any proof whatsoever is just a waste of time. Thousands of hours in idle speculation of this sort is not worth one tenth as much as slowly and carefully helping to convince one fence sitter to come to our side.
          •  Actually, I'd say this (4.00)
            "Conspiracy theorists" evidence a certain creativity of thought.  The essence of such thinking is the ability to link seemingly unrelated facts and events with a narrative to explain a connection.  

            It's a way of thinking that benefits many of us in our daily lives.  As a lawyer, the road to a successful summary judgment (victory for my client) was begun with the observation of how odd it was that letters from "witness x" seemed to be formatted identically to correspondence from the office of "lawyer y."  Without disclosing too much, the court determined that no reasonable jury could find that my client had done wrong, becuase of lawyer y's ongoing schemes to "set up" lawsuits just like that one.  

            My "conspiracy thinking" got me a victory.  Above-board, genuine, honest people find it hard to believe that some folks are capable of some of the conduct out there, and it takes a kind of creative thinking to make connections between seemingly unrelated facts to arrive at a plausible narrative/theory/explanation.

            The difference between a "conspiracy theorist" and a nut is that the conspiracy theorist works from facts, laws of physics, provable starting points, and weaves a theory to connect them.  A nut just speculates wildly about the worst evil that might motivate human behavior.  That doesn't mean that there are no conspiracies, or that it's inherently nutty to think in a way that tries to connect things.  Just that a legitimate "conspiracy scientist," if you will, works from a foundation of some provable facts.  

            E.g., Bush admin insiders said he'd been planning to attack Iraq from day one, the Downing Street memo says he wanted to gin up intelligence to support the war, and there was no credible evidence of a link between Iraq and al-Qaida prior to March 2003.  Ergo, Bush, determined to attack Iraq, fabricated the case for war.  We'll never get into his head, and we'll likely never get good circumstantial evidence that he knowingly made a false case for war, but it's reasonable to draw from various sources to conclude proposition "x," even though that's just a theory (and a theory involving asserted wrongdoing from various individuals and entities, thereby making it a conspiracy theory).

            Can money pay for all the days I lived awake/ But half asleep?

            by milton333 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:15:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Voyager episode (none)
              Your comment reminds me of the Voyager episode where Seven first thinks Janeway (an later Chakotay) were at the center of a conspiracy to strand the Voyager in the Delta quadrant.

              Just a stray thought and has nothing to do with anything.

            •  In general usage (none)
              "Conspiracy theory" means more than just a theory about a conspiracy.  Specifically, conspiracy theorists ignore or explain away evidence against them ("the Illuminati set it up to look that way, but actually..."), whereas realistic theories either change (or are discarded) in response to conflicting evidence, or their proponents admit they can't explain it but reserve the right to revive the theory if the new evidence turns out to be incorrect.
        •  About that tsunami (none)
          You mean you actually bought that whole "natural disaster" line?


          Evidently you don't know anything about the Pentagon's ultra-top-secret SEISMIC WEAPONS PROGRAM!  Come on, think about it!  Why bother with "nukular" weapons when you can eliminate the middleman by going STRAIGHT to the BLAST DAMAGE by creating an ARTIFICIAL EARTHQUAKE?

          I'll be putting up a website Real Soon Now detailing the Pentagon's creation of the EARTHQUAKE INDUCTION RAY which is fired from the TOP SECRET MOONBASE (you only THOUGHT they cancelled the Apollo Program!) that has been IN OPERATION since 1974.

          You'll also learn the REAL REASON for the CHALLENGER DISASTER, the TRUTH about the SUPPOSED DEATH of RICHARD NIXON, and the SECRET WAR being fought between the PENTAGON and the RUSSIAN COSMOSPHERES for control of the LOST ALIEN BIOWEAPONS LAB on the FAR SIDE OF THE MOON!

      •  The fight to get paper trail voting (none)
        I know that wasn't your main topic, but the fact is that we have indeed made progress. Go to for details. Or join and get their newsletter. :->

        "There's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line" - Indigo Girls

        by AlanF on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:51:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Prove it or refute it should be the standard (4.00)
        People who don't bother to include reasonably corroborated facts nor a rational argument in diaries or threads -- whether dismissing arguments they don't like as CTs or presenting a spanking new CT -- are the same animal IMO.

        Both prefer a murky factesque climate for a debate because points can be rhetoric-based.

        I haven't seen which diaries (and diarists) were banned. I've recommended ones I don't agree with (or don't flatter my world view) if the diarist put some effort into providing a variety of linked sources so the reader could make an independent decision.

        Also, the unifying theory of libruls as conspiracy theorists is the default RW dismissal when inconvenient facts tear up the latest WH propaganda offensive

        Famous librul conspiracy theories I have known:

        • no connection between 911 and Saddam
        • WMD case for war was hyped
        • black voters were targeted for disenfranchisement
        • invading Iraq was a foregone conclusion
        • the Plame affair
        • various WH hit-jobs on honest critics and/or whistleblowers (Eric Shinseki, Gitmo cleric Yee (don't remember first name), Richard Clarke, etc.)
      •  Look at the two top posts to see .... (none)
        WHICH VIEW the majority favor by way of mojo. Hands down it is the view against this purge.

        The first one applauds this censorship and is at 21 fours.

        The second is against it and has 46 fours and the mojo is rising.

        Democracy speaks, loud and clear, against this highly UNdemocratic purge.

        And may I just say UGH as regards this purge.

        (Oh, and one more utterance of the wholly ruined "reality based" and my UGHs shall have no limit.)

        oh, ps - I hate bankruptcy bill (+ ANWR) traitor dems.

        by NYCee on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 01:18:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bush Lied, still? (none)
        Actually a lie is different from a mistake.

        The American people were not lied to by Bush, when he said the same thing that Clinton said. Intelligence makes mistakes. The task of gaining information from someone who doesn't want you to have it is errorprone, and difficult.

        Of course, we all know that Clinton lied, but that is ok, because it was just about sex, right?

        Lie: intentional misrepresentation of that you believe to be the truth.

        Mistake: unintentional incorrect action, which may have a number of causes.

        Saddam lied, but we didn't expect anything else from him (aside from mass murder of Kurds with Chemical agents). Wait, if he killed Kurds with chemical agents, that was a Weapon of mass destruction.  Bush told the truth!

      •  David Ray Griffin? (none)
        I think Hari has a legitimate question.

        Should we consider David Ray Griffin's books (The New Pearl Harbor and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions) consipracy theories we should not discuss here?

        I ask because if one gives credence to Griffin's suggestion that the U.S. government was, at least partially, behind the 9/11 attacks, then it's likely that the U.S. government is, at least partially, behind the London attacks.

        In sum, what can and canot be discussed should be clearly outlined before exiling members.

    •  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! (none)

      The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are! (who?)

      by bluecayuga on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:08:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  These days you have to wonder? (none)
      Who really is in the reality based community?

      And who is the conspiracy nut?

      Just posting to check if I have been banned? lol

      I know that this is Markos site, and he deserves to cut anyone he wants. Heck! There are some really whacko posts once in a while.

      To be honest about my personal opinion on this matter? 5 years ago I would have called PNAC a conspiracy nuts dream. Now, I don't...

      Does that mean I think they actually "caused" 911 to happen? HELL NO! I don't even think they would "let it happen". But I do think they did conspire to take advantage of the situation.

      For all of the whacko posts, everyonce in a while the conspiracy nuts make some great points that can even help the reality based communities arguments.

      Does that make me a nut? Maybe? Does that mena that Markos has to keep the people he deems conspiracy nuts?

      Nope. His site, his bandwidth, and his tools to ban them.

      There already enough sites out there to discuss the possibility of conspiracies that those users can turn to.

      Isn't dailyKos labeled (by some) as part of the "left-wing conspiracy" to overthrow the "right-wing conspiracy"?

      I can see the humor in that...

      Now, please respond to let me know if I am still part of the vast left-wing conspiracy. Otherwise I may go nuts trying to figure out if I have been "conspired" against? :)

      Independent World Television

      by m16eib on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:26:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But 5 years ago (4.00)
        you could've gone to AEI's own website and found everything you wanted to know about PNAC by the people who created it. Proof.

        A theory like "Bush and Blair planned the bombings" is just crazy-ass speculation.

        •  Worse it detracts from the real truth (4.00)
          which is that Blair had prepared to call in every favor, lay all his poltical capital on the line to achieve a breakthrough on two vital issues threatening the world:

          African Poverty and Global warming,

          Blair, knowing he was at the end of his career was about to cash in on 4 years of unwavering support on the Iraq issue and force W to take action on these issues, anmd create a lasting legacy for himself while making the world a better place.

          All lost now.  After a burst of violence, a vital oppourtunity to save the world was lost (I almost threw a shoe through the TV last night when I flipped past Scarborough and heard him sneering about leaders who were discussing African debt and global warming when they "should have been discussing how to help out in iraq and take out these terrorists)

          Conspiracy theories are not only stupid, they make it easier to hide the true dimensions of this tragedy

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:51:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The REAL Threat (none)
            Yeah, I bet that when the world ends due to global warming, Scarborough will regret his idiotic stance.  Why don't people understand that this is more dangerous than a thousand nuclear bombs?  What difference does it make whether there are terrorists or not on a planet with no plant life?  Not a whole lot.
            •  I think of Global Warming (none)
              Much like many people considered Nuclear War in the 1950's  The horror was not (as it was when I was growing up) that the World would be destroyed.  Instead it was the far worse fear that the World would go on, but civilization and/or our way of life, would be what was anihilated.  Living in that world would be a far more frightening thing than a simple global cataclysm

              Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

              by Magorn on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:02:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Reality people, please (none)
              A thousand nuclear bombs or the temp of the earth raised a few degrees, but still not the highest its ever been. Uh, hello? Is the scientific community saying that the world would be "lifeless" because of global warming or are you just writing a sci-fi short story?
          •  global warming....and calling in chits. (none)
            To me it is vastly silly for Blair to "cash in" support for the US in Iraq and Afghanistan for some unspecified support on Global Warming.

            The only evidence for Global warming is computer models with self referencing feedback. If you feed error back into the inputs, then you can get any result you care to publish.

            Kyoto accord would destroy the US economy, and all that it produces, while ignoring the far dirtier Chinese and African economies. If the intent is to get the most production per unit of carbon dioxide produced, a sensible accord would shut down the african and chinese economies, and keep the US economy.

            New Zealand intended to sell carbon credits, and finds that rather they end up paying carbon taxes.

            Kyoto is, for any modern economy, suicide. Suicide is hardly a fit subject for negotiation.

        •  And I would have said... (none)
          Wow... Websites are a dime a dozen, and anyone can easily make one.

          Maybe you haven't noticed how fast, after ridiculous claims by the far right, they have built an entire website around those claims.

          Think "swifties" and the "wintergreen sites" that they had going in a matter of days after their false claims. They may have even built some of those sites before they started leveling those false charges at Kerry...

          I can make wild claims against anything or anyone and have a site up the next day... Doesn't make it true.

          Independent World Television

          by m16eib on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:56:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  On the Contrary (4.00)
      What makes Little Green Footballs and FreeRepublic the marvels of mass psychosis that they are is not just the craziness of the individuals who post there.  It also has a lot to do with the authoritarian editorial practices of the administrators, who see to it that unwanted viewpoints quickly disappear and troublesome posters--often bearing news from the reality-based community--get banned.  No fresh air gets in, no new angles get considered, no real debate occurs--and all America suffers as a result.

      What Kos has just done--no doubt with the most honorable and reasonable of intentions--takes us down the same road.  We, too, can become a mindless echo-chamber of spoonfed talking points.  We, too, can close our ears to different, challenging points of view forever.  We, too, can become so insecure in our ability to reason and moralize that we can't abide even the slightest difference of opinion in what is, for goodness's sake, a virtual community.

      Like others, I have noted a decline in the quality of postings on DKos.  I have also noted a rise in the arrogance of a self-appointed "elite" who feel it is their right and even their duty to take charge of the conversations on dKos.  A long comment of mine trying, in anguish, to weigh American culpability against that of Iraqi insurgents was erased.  This was no "wild anti-Bush attack"--it was a deliberately sober moral assessment.  It rubbed someone the wrong way and boom!--all that work was gone.  I also ran across a posting that brought up an AP report about the Israeli government's potential foreknowledge of the London bombings.  Was it engaged, supported, argued down?  No, it was troll rated away with no substantive remarks, so most Kossacks will never get to consider and discuss this little possible shard of reality.  I don't myself go in for Israeli conspiracy theories, but I do like to hear all sides.  Don't you?

      I've been on DKos for a while now, but I'm starting to see it as an obstacle to clear thought and political virtue.  So I'm quitting it, at least until it gets its head straight about what values are most important to it.  Anyone want my member number?

      •  Pretty much my feelings (4.00)
        I think the issue is a matter of tone.  I have read the David Ray Griffin book "The New Pearl Harbor", that considers a variety of alternative theories about 9/11.  Does he come out and say that Bush did it? Not at all, he simply lays out the flaws in the official story, and makes calm arguments for considering alternatives.

        I think we should be open to that type of discourse here on Kos.  I think we live in weird times, when public officials brazenly do things that we never would have considered acceptable in the past.  How far would they be willing to go?  I don't know, but I have chosen to keep an open mind.  

        I understand the concern about our opponents picking up "lunatic rants" here and ascribing them to the general Kos community.  But if we stifle all discussion, we are giving in to our opponents.  How is this different from the treatment Howard Dean got?   Every time he would state an uncomfortable truth, they would brand him as crazy.  Sometimes Dean could have said the same thing in a more diplomatic way, but I'm not sure that would have changed anything in the reaction.  

        All I'm saying is, yes, let's maintain some standards of debate and discussion here.  Just don't close our minds to ideas that may have seemed fringe at one time, but are definitely within the realm of possibility.

      •  This is a slippery-slope argument (none)
        And the problem with slippery-slope arguments is that they can easily be taken too far. (!)

        Stem-cell graphical snark for your use:

        by technopolitical on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:58:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How slippery is your slope? (none)
          Some people probably got banned for very minor offenses, but I would figure that the majority were contributing significantly to the degeneration of critical thinking that tends to make us all look like a bunch of crazies by association.

          Based on the simple idea of looking at a significant event and picking out people that would stand to gain from it, you could surmise that WeightWatchers invented new types of fattening oils, and possibly even sponsored fast food chains to turn america fat, so that they could profit.  

          Just cause it's plausible doesn't make it true (or even likely).  Too many crack-pot theories were springing up with no foundation, and they were garnering support from a lot of people.  

          This recent attack in London doesn't even support the administration's agenda.  But the 9/11 incident on the other hand...

      •  I was talking on this subject... (none)
        Just yesterday, in fact.

        (Names changed to protect the innocent, i'm the one discussing DKos and RedState of course.)

        (01:36:36) xxx:
        (01:36:42) xxx: if i hadn't shown you before
        (01:36:44) xxx: was playing some WC3
        (01:37:27) xxx: "It must be quite depressing to be a scientist and a conservative these days. And awful lonely to boot. You guys can win over every single one of those disaffected rational people."
        (01:37:29) yyy: saw that
        (01:38:08) xxx: *nod*
        (01:38:15) xxx: it illustrates the difference between DKos and RS nicely
        (01:38:22) yyy: da
        (01:38:28) yyy: haven't been booted yet [My clarification: from RedState]
        (01:38:55) xxx: although both have their "accepted facts" and narratives DKos's has come, more or less, out of debate and a common understanding between the users and is open to change
        (01:39:35) xxx: (for a while, pointing out the various suspicious (or outright fraudulent) electoral tactics used in 2004 was a sure-fire way to get bitched out and down-rated on DKos, now it's not anymore)
        (01:40:14) xxx: if you post on DKos and try to challenge this common understanding you're going to get beaten around, especially if you're not air-tight solid
        (01:40:24) yyy: *nods*
        (01:41:38) xxx: but on RedState there is no "common understanding", instead the understanding is imposed as top-down orthodoxy. Even though a lot of posters agreed with and quietly started questioning whether it was a good idea to jump in the anti-science brigade's boat and there might have possibly even been discussion between the various factions that all got shut down because it crossed certain lines
        (01:42:18) xxx: on DKos i've even seen some angry, though well-written, right-wingers who come in to yell at the Kos posters get on the recommend list (mostly because DKos-ers like watching right-wingers get yelled at, i suspect--but nonetheless)
        (01:42:49) yyy: heh
        (01:42:50) xxx: you can get sunk with some zeroes, but pretty much the only way to get outright banned is to be a completely ridiculous fucker
        (01:43:16) xxx: like, spamming the comment section or posting private information of others or breaking some laws or something along those lines

        I think my position should be clear. I'm not going to say Kos made the wrong decision, but i remain suspicious of it.

        The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

        by Shapeshifter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:42:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I concur wholeheartedly (none)
        Your comments are right on.  What attracts me to message boards, blogs and websites is not the fact that I agree with the viewpoints expressed, but that I can read all possible sides of a story.  Some of the best political literature is written by the extreme left or right.  I am a lurker of dkos, and I am not even American and even if I was, I probably might be a Republican-leaning voter.  But like Socrates, I always question every single one of my beliefs no matter how dearly held.  I come here time to time to get some of the best criticism of the US Republican establishment.

        FreeRepublic has become the Pravda of the Republican talking points central committee.  Don't let dkos go down that same death spiral by becoming the Democratic version of this.

    •  old boss/new boss (4.00)
      "....An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials.  

      Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    •  Thank you (none)
      I was shocked to be having a battle with someone yesterday about whether Bush planned 9/11 and Blair planned the London attacks.  The lunacy was amazing, as were the quickly personal nature of the attacks when I mentioned that I found the theories totally ridiculous.  
    •  Would have a true "rejction" button (none)
      as an anti-recommend be a workable function to help alleviate this sort of thing?

      I can reccomend a diary, but I can't 'sink' a diary I find an embarassing mess. I can only undo what I do (i.e I cna only unreccomedn my prior recomendation).

      But I have no ability to toss a diary an anvil so to speak.


      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:36:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe in a future release, the reccomend feature (none)
        can be a scale, like the comments. tu's could rate zeroes, and have it on a 1-4 scale. then maybe a link to a rated diaries page. that would be an interesting thing to be able to pull up the daily rated diaries. just a thought.

        your zero becomes the anvil.

    •  Where does that name come from? (none)
      LGF I mean.
      What is its origin?
  •  I've always appreciated the high tolerance level (4.00)
    of dkos, even for people like that.  I think some people have taken it for granted though, or think that bannings or diary deletions should never happen under any circumstances, as the reaction to Armando's diary deletion showed yesterday.

    But you're right, a "reality based" blog should try to make sure that we talk about, you know...reality.

    Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

    by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:46:43 AM PDT

    •  agreed but (4.00)
      kos, about those people that recommend a crazy diary.   i've done that once & found it plausible enought to recommend so that it'd be explored. i  posted a response that i wanted more info (not joining the conspiracy).  I stayed with the story.  found it false & unrecommended.

      hope we're not losing those people (gulp! unless you really don't want me??)

      whatever the case, i'm glad to see this purge.  i've wondered about trolls who push these theories as well as liberals who hurt our cause by going over the edge.  good call.

      btw, you sound stressed out.  given your position i can understand, but i hope you get a chance to take a breather.

      •  I share your concern (4.00)
        sometimes, even when a diary doesn't merit recommending, I recommend it because the comments it elicits are so worth reading.

        It ain't really what you'd call change. It's all happened before and it'll happen again with a different set of facts. -Gloria Naylor

        by GN1927 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:23:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes Yes Yes (4.00)
        I have recommended diaries before not based on the content, but on the discussion contained in the thread.

        Markos doesn't make clear whether these are systematic bad-diary-recommenders or what, but I would hope he would consider a little more than a name on a Who's Recommended screen before choosing to ban.  

        Visit - a blended double-tequila margarita of pop culture & LA nightlife.

        by KB on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:33:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds too harsh to me (4.00)
        I didn't recommend any of the CTs from yesterday but it sounds way too harsh to ban people who just recommend something. Perhaps a "time out" or an irate e-mail would be more fair...

        When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

        by lawnorder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:35:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What were the Conspiracy Theory diaries (none)
          from yesterday?

          I often recommend diaries just because I think the general topic (i.e. homeland security)is important.  Sometimes (at work, in a hurry) I skim the text without reading the whole thing.  

          •  One said "Jews did it" (none)
            Other apparently said Bush & Blair did it. I missed most of it since I was kind of busy offline.

            It was a nasty thing to say, right after the attack. Racist too. The last thing I wanted to hear on 9/11 and 9/12 was some half arsed conspiracy theory about how my own government or a different race did it. I hated how Howard Stern said "nuke all muslims" right after Oklahoma city!

            When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

            by lawnorder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:52:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I am also glad that something was done (none)
        but I'd much rather the higher standards be put on diaries and not so much comments or recommends.
      •  I would go even further (none)
        to say that it is not worth "unrecomnending" a topic simply because it was explored and found to be false. I find learning things to be a great experience and I highly recommend that experience regardless of the outcome.

        I do worry that this sets a precedence towards leaving many stones unturned in our quest for truth. BUT I also think that it is not the end of the world since there are conspiracy sites to turn to to explore some of those possibilities if people really want to.

        I would think that if he could spare the space on the servers, Markos could consider making a section that would be labled "conspiracies" and those posts would end up in that repository forever if they proven false, and possibly elevated to the "reality based section" (You know with the rest of the diaries) if they are proven to be realistic, plausible OR true after discussion. I don't know how "Scoop" works AND I also don't know if Markos can spare all of that space and bandwidth. This is an active community...

        Independent World Television

        by m16eib on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:46:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  see your point (none)
          these "crazy" diaries have been some of our best IMHO mostly b/c (1) so many of our communities best get the real data up & (2) the community really shows it's strict adherence to "reality" - & that is both comforting & sets a standard.

          i do think it's better to UNrecommend b/c that diary bumps someone else off & getting on the reco list gives the theory a stamp of kos approval which we do not want freepers using against us.

          furthermore, these diaries can embarrass some of the elected officials on here.  so i'd recommend UNrecommending.

          but everything, i'm with ya.  these diaries have been some of the best b/c the community's best give you so much good data to refute the conspiracy.

          that doesn't mean we should keep having them tho!

  •  thank you, kos. (4.00)
    the air was getting a little thin around here lately.
  •  Discipline (4.00)
    Not sure what I think about the mass banning, since I didn't really view these diaries, but ...  We could all use a little more discipline both in diary posting and commenting.  The quality of both has plummeted in recent weeks.

    I mean, even front page posters have been guilty.

    I'm for, generally, increasing the quality of content here.  Other measures might be needed -- Like forcibly restricting the number of diaries that can be posted per week.

    It's not diaries ... more like diarrhea.

    "Hillary Clinton fathered a half-black child with a prostitute in Mississippi. I'll stake my reputation on it." -- Ken Mehlman, RNC Chairman

    by bink on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:47:05 AM PDT

    •  Solution seems to be... (4.00)
      ...finding some way to institute a diary-rating system. I'm sure that would have some effect on server load, but it would go a VERY long way in cleaning up the diaries.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:48:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  God no. . . (4.00)
        Let it be done by the front page elite.  Personally, I already think there's been to much mob rule in shouting down comments.

        George W. Bush -- It's mourning in America.

        by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:54:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The "Front Page Elite" have been... (none)
          doing a great job, as of late, and I see no reason why they should not have more control here.  As a matter of fact, it's about time to have some more structure here.  People have been saying things which embarrass this website, and kos is completely right to get rid of those people.  Kos and Armando are our first line of defense against the non-Reality-Based Community.

          "The Britons never, never, never shall be slaves!" Daily Kos remembers 7/7/05

          by teenagedallasdeaniac on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:11:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Armando? (3.53)
            The guy who defended Plame as a First Amendment hero?  This place is starting to sound like a church.  Get all the Elder's together to vote out the riff-raff.  God forbid we engage them.  And that little slight to the "fraudsters" is incredibly arrogant.
            •  Dunno if this is the time or place... (4.00)
              ...for me to bust out with my "dKos Constitutional Monarchy" theory. But sometime this weekend I may just do it. The threads yesterday about Armando's diary deletion, and now this, suggest to me that the time for a discussion about this site has come.

              Basically, I think the frontpagers do a good job, but I'd feel more comfortable if we were a bit more democratic about this stuff.

              I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

              by eugene on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:33:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Please (none)
                God yes. A couple of the front-pagers are out of control, and some of this needs to be discussed.

                "Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage." --HL Mencken

                by PerfectStormer on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:38:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Absolutely (none)
                I'd like to see such a discussion. But be prepared for the onslaught.
              •  Kos (none)
                It's his site. It has his name on it.

                There is a lot of garbage posted here I wouldn't want my name associated with, but Kos has been very generous to the guests who come here.

                Kos set this up and paid for the site the software the servers so that you and the other 60,000 guests could post comments, read diaries, and front page stories.

                He picked his editors.. he lays down the rules.

                I think he has given the guests here a great gift. A place to discuss the issues of the day. He has created a community.

                I just don't think when it comes to some of this stuff, democracy come into the discussion.

      •  That would be nice... (4.00)
        In addition to a "recommend this diary" button, a "God, no, this is crap" button might help. Of course, then the gamers of such systems would have their day shooting down good diaries. I guess front-pager patrol is the best thing going--thanks for the hard work, gang. :)
      •  I don't know about that... (4.00)
        ...something I"ve always wondered about is why you can only unrecommend a diary you've recommended.

        If you could code it to allow the unrecommended button to show up regardless and just subtract from the "score" when that is pressed.  That way we can downgrade a diary we might find inappropriate.  

        This will prevent the freeperesque members from getting a recommendation gang to get their diary on the recommended list.

        I like the view from the moral highground.

        by DawnG on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:48:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And Shoddy Diaries... (4.00)
      ...dilute the attention for good diaries, like the one you wrote this morning.  

      Not every diary can or should be expected to be a gem.  But neither should they be embarassing.

      •  Grateful (none)
        I'm just grateful it was read at all.

        "Hillary Clinton fathered a half-black child with a prostitute in Mississippi. I'll stake my reputation on it." -- Ken Mehlman, RNC Chairman

        by bink on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:50:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for pointing that one out (4.00)
        DHinMI.  i totally missed it.  good stuff there bink.

        Yeah the revolution starts now..So what you doin' standin' around? -Steve Earle

        by juls on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:03:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  true but... (4.00)
        ...that's what recommended diaries were for.  To separate the quality from the garbage.  But I was getting surprised at some of the crap that was making the recommended list.  the "Dear lord smite these motherfuckers" being a prime example.

        Hopefully this will reduce those instances.

        I like the view from the moral highground.

        by DawnG on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:43:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the problem is (none)
          that too many vacuous diaries make it a lot harder for the good ones to get recommends.  Who wants to sift through a ton of chaff for a pound of wheat?
          •  some people do. (none)
            and if people don't then they don't get recommended.  The problem we have is people getting gangs to recommend honestly crappy diaries.  But since I haven't recommended the diary (because it's crap) I can't unrecommend it.  How would the dynamic change if people could have a negative impact on the recommendation rating of a diary they feel doesn't belong on the recommended list?  

            But some people do go through a lot of diaries and you can usually tell by the first paragraph or 2 if it's any good without reading the whole thing.

            I like the view from the moral highground.

            by DawnG on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:43:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  In an undisclosed location (4.00)
        long ago

        I sat in an airy room

        with a fully armed marine blocking the door handle

        across the table from a man in a suit

        who explained to me why I should sign some blurry papers

        laying out the penalties for disclosing state secrets

        as if the use of advanced intelligence technologies to manipulate national domestic elections were essential to warding off The Enemy.

        Bad judgment on their part, thinking I was one of them,

        but it was the sedative tradition of  self-aggrandizing denial that the Church committee then and you in particular push here now

        that keeps those who know from risking harms to their spheres of acquaintance

        so your spheres of acquaintance can proudly claim a higher order of rationality

        obeisance to the authorities who provide your imperceptibly shrinking political status

        a gift of corn from those who stole your land.

    •  i was thinking about this (none)
      and maybe a re-vamping of the TU system is in order - like, your ability to diary was based on a bizarre metriculation of your TU status, a writing sample and your geek quotient.  or something.

      and yes; i pray for the ability to unrecommend a diary without having to recommend it first.

  •  Yikes (4.00)
    I'm happy to see I'm still here.  
  •  Sorry that it had to happen (4.00)
    but thanks for doing it. It was getting beyond the ability of rational people to squash.

    lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:48:41 AM PDT

    •  At least the fraudniks... (4.00)
      ...had some basis to make their claims, even if it was insufficient.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:51:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup (4.00)
        You need to at least start with an idea of plausibility.

        lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

        by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:53:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the difference between reality and fiction... (none)
          Fiction has to be plausible.

          So the conspiracy theorists come up with "plausible" scenarios, while Bushco manages to go on being ever-more implausible.  It's kinda mind-boggling, really. :}

          "I'm not big on propaganda. I leave that to the Republicans."
          -Howard Dean

          by Leggy Starlitz on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:16:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Criteria? (none)
    Aside from the Bush and Blair got together to bomb London, what other criteria are you using for the bannings -- I'm really curious!

    You say you will also be banning people who recommended their diaries?

    To write in plain vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox. George Orwell, 1946

    by deepintheheartoftx on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:49:08 AM PDT

    •  Yes, banning recommenders (4.00)
      seems extreme.  Maybe there were discussions going on inside these diaries that people wanted to further by recommending, and not necessarily the conspiracies themselves.
      •  I could maybe see it (none)
        if someone went and recommended a whole bunch of similar diaries, but probably not someone who recommended like only one.

        Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:05:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the way I see it (none)
          The Bush/Blair bombing London diary yesterday was just shocking, and at first I thought the diarist was a freeper, then I looked and s/he's had tons of other diaries.  Some of the same people who recommended the diary were giving the diarist 4s for all comments, and I'd guess were heavy recommenders of other diaries by the same diarist.

          One slip here and there shouldn't be enough to lose your account, but there seemed to be a Cabal opperating around that diary yesterday.

          Ferchrisakes, it was the 3rd or 4th most recent diary on the page and already had >60 comments yesterday evening.  I took that as an indication that other commenters were in on the diary ahead of time and started pumping it immediately.

          •  am i correct to assume (none)
            that if he's banning the people who posted the diary, that the diary itself has been deleted.

            though I wont go around like that one day did yesterday demanding to see a thing that no longer exists if it did get deleted.

            Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

            by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:32:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not a Correct Assumption (none)
              The diary is still there, as is Kos' comment:

              * [new] This is embarassing (none / 0)

              I won't let the site degenerate into this sort of crap.

              Take this shit elsewhere. Really. It's absurd bullshit, it's what it is.

              by kos on Thu Jul 7th, 2005 at 20:33:48 PDT

              I won't link to the diary, because I don't think it needs to be read.  Kos has made his point, and hopefully he won't have to waste more time on this issue.  The user hasn't posted a comment or diary since last night, but they may still be around.  

              Conspiracy theories are interesting, and provide some value to the world, but this site is for facts, news, analysis, and organizing.  Conspiracy theories, in my mind, should be posted and discussed elsewhere.  When they mature into a story (something that bears fruit in the form of hard evidence), then I think dailyKos should be used as a grass-roots investigative journalism tool.

      •  Yeah. Makes me nervous (4.00)
        I don't know from conspiracy buffs.  I just rate or recommend as I see the comments or diaries -- don't care who the author is if I see something in it I want to recommend.  

        I recently took flak for rating up a "known troll".  My point of view is that I really don't care what he said any where else.  Am I supposed to care?  I have not been around very long so I don't really know the ropes yet.  I have not done a diary yet, but I was thinking about doing one asking whether there was a "right way" to do this.  Should I rate based on the commenter as well as the commen?  

        If I recommend a tinfoilhat person's diary and I am tarred with the same feather, does that mean I should be looking behind a comment to the commenter as well?  

        Just asking.


        When you are going thru hell, keep going! Winston Churchill

        by flo58 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:23:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rating (none)
          There are guidelines in the FAQ.  But honestly, it is up to you.  Please don't rate up any comments that advocate the use of violence against individuals or groups.  Even the freerepublic will remove those kind of comments.

          Sometimes an unpopular but reasonable view gets rated down.  I sometimes rate those up.

          Tyranny goes with poverty;it's cheaper than democracy. (Larry Niven)

          by Fabian on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:33:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the response (none)
            I re-reviewed the FAQ.  They are helpful, but I am still wondering how others approach this.  

            I expected some bad mojo from my support of a person who had an unpopular opinion -- and got it -- but was surprised by some folks who said that they always gave zeroes when the "known troll" commented regardless of how constructive the given comment might be.  I know there are trolls here, but this struck me as very close to black-balling.  That bothered me.  

            For the record, I have never seen a post recommending violence.

            When you are going thru hell, keep going! Winston Churchill

            by flo58 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:00:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, there are a few posts. (none)
              One gentlemen commented a woman who had a roadway run in with someone who was driving recklessly to get her attention(so he could give her the finger) that he would be happy to show up in the offender's driveway with his shotgun.  I zapped him a zero instantly.  Nothing personal - you just don't do that. Threats aren't considered free speech.

              A few people troll rate certain users on reputation.  And rarely there are stalkers - people who hunt down all a user's comments so they can downrate them.  Fortunately these are rare ocurrences.  For the most part people are civil and downright polite to each other.  But sometimes words are traded, tempers flare and a thread turns into a flame war.  It is easy enough to take things personally and have your feelings hurt.  I've even seen front pagers get into it - so no one is immune.

              Tyranny goes with poverty;it's cheaper than democracy. (Larry Niven)

              by Fabian on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:39:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  my view (none)
              IMO, yes, you should take into account the commenter, not just the comment.  Not for every comment, maybe, but if it's controversial, yes, I would look at the poster's comment/diary history, to try and get an idea of whether they were sincerely expressing a controversial opinion, or just trolling.

              Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

              by randym77 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:46:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Problem (none)
                One of my very first comments (I believe it was my fourth) was trolled rated and followed by a comment indentifying me as a "known troll".  When I asked how I could be a known troll when I had just gotten here, I was told that since I had previously expressed an odious opinion that I was obviously a troll (the opinion, BTW, was that the Democrats were making a mistake if they embraced the gay marriage issue).

                Because I had so few posts, I could pretty easily defend myself at the time.  But if someone troll rated me now, and when I asked why stated that it was because I was a "known troll", my reputation, as it were, would be besmirched, since I couldn't expect anyone to now sift through the numerous comments I have made.  

                Which could lead to all my comments being trolled out of existence without me making a single troll worthy comment, from a mass decision to smite the troll, even if he hasn't actually written anything bad.

                A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

                by JakeC on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:24:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yes (4.00)
              Yes, the same thing happened to me and in the same diary. I was zero rated for agreeing with someone who a "trusted user" had personally decided was a troll. That rating was changed after some kind person spoke up. I agree, it feels like black balling.

              And now today's banning.  People keep talking about signal-to-noise ratio. Well I don't understand it -- how much time does it take to scroll down a webpage past the entries you want to ignore? The S-to-N argument is really a mask IMO for the real issue. Basically Kos is not a liberal site. This place is a centrist community with one goal --electing centrist Democrats. There is nothing wrong with that as long as the intention is clear. I'll interpret recent events to control diaries, ban posters etc. as a way of making that intent very clear.  

              So I finally got it through my thick skull today, DailyKos is a place where centrist people can hang out and consider themselves liberals, and they do it by censoring anything that exists to the left of their comfort zone.  If you are interested in anything to the left of Hillary Clinton then you will have to look elsewhere.

              Why do I even care about this enough to post about it?  -- because DailyKos is a microcosm.

              I've kept coming back, because I've thought that there is no place else to go. And if you think like that, you start worrying about being good you know, so they won't kick you out. Hence all the concern about ratings and such, and it's a fine way to keep people in line.

              Perhaps DailyKos has become a bit of a monolith as many different types of liberals try to fit in to a rather narrow slice of what might broadly be considered the liberal spectrum. And -- just like with the democratic party -- it seems like there is nowhere else for liberals to go. But it is up to us to spread out and decentralize. Don't make this the be all, end all of liberal politics. Surely, it isn't.

              Anyone else got some good blog sites to recommend?  I'd like to find some new places.

              •  I don't know what my ratings are (none)
                but I'm way  far to the left by Kos standards (by most standards) and i've gotten some nice feedback for my diary (and some really flaming ones too)
                you can check out my's called "lefter,warmer" and is a regular on the indymedia newswire, which is surely gratifying. Indymedia in general is a good place to go for more far-left commentary, but there's a "lefter than thou" issue there as opposed to a "more socially acceptable than thou"  dynamic like the one here. No place is perfect.
        •  that stance (none)
          probably won't last if you stick around. It's easy enough to say you don't care what people have said here and there, that you only focus on the comment at hand. I used to feel the same way. Just wait till someone downrates you for something, and wait till you notice a pattern of dickishness from a particular username. But I guess there's nothing wrong with uprating a troll, except someday a troll will downrate you, someone will uprate that troll, and you'll be frustrated for it.

          "If I recommend a tinfoilhat person's diary and I am tarred with the same feather, does that mean I should be looking behind a comment to the commenter as well?"

          You'll learn fast enough who to trust and who not to, but each diary should stand on its own merit, not its posters' past-laurels. (To reward for past achievement is one of the flaws of conservitism;)

          But I think the point here is to think criticaly. Sometimes I watch the comments like I watch tv, without doing any thinking, and I find myself getting swayed with every comment. That's not honoring the spirit of the liberal-bottom/up movement. We're trying to build a more informed, better prepared society. Active education. I think in large part, that's what this site is for. At least to me.

          If you can read this, then you hate freedom.

          by NeoconSemanticist on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:14:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks (none)
            I expect you are right.  Right now, with only a few exceptions, everyone has a clean slate in my prejudice book.  I have not had a one or a zero yet, but I did get a few twos and a lecture on not supporting trolls in the "known troll" go-around.  And I definitely remember who they were and their attitude toward me.  So maybe the process of change has already started.  OTOH, I have also had terrific back and forths, which will no doubt keep me coming back -- at least for a while.    

            When you are going thru hell, keep going! Winston Churchill

            by flo58 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 06:22:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  That was my recommend... (none)
        The first thing i thought of when i heard about London attacks was "How convenient..."

        That's what Fox News anchors thought, too. It's not just me.

        But i don't think and did not think at the time assuming it was conspired between Bush and Blair would be safe. That's a pretty huge assumption to make on grounds of "it's convenient for them"--however, the best way to knock a a silly theory down is to hold it up to the light.

        The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

        by Shapeshifter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:07:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Havta wonder if I'm not long for this world.... (4.00) the recommending case.

      Ah, well, either way, I guess I'll find out soon enough!

      To write in plain vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox. George Orwell, 1946

      by deepintheheartoftx on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:10:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whatever criteria he wants (none)
      After all, it's HIS site, as he and Armando are so quick to remind everyone all the time.

      "Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage." --HL Mencken

      by PerfectStormer on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:41:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks, kos n/t (none)

    NE Kossacks meet up Saturday July 9th, Hatch Shell in Boston. Free music, picnic, Kossacks! Email me (see profile) for details!

    by brillig on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:49:22 AM PDT

  •  Bravo (none)
    It was getting ridiculous.

    And as you said, the fact that the off the wall crap is getting attention, that's what's a killer.

    I've never lived through a purge before, I'm scared, yet oddly intrigued...

  •  Your call of course (none)
    And I think it was a good one, I think everyone has to remeber that for every crazy theory on this site we may have scared away someone that has solid reality based ideas from posting or even using the site.

    If you have a idea that involves a tin foil hat I guess having some kind of hard evidence is needed:)

    •  This is an excellent point. (none)
      I love this site, and knowing the traffic was huge yesterday, I admit to being concerned with new people seeing the diary-deletion arguments going on.   I stopped counting the diaries about said topic at seven.  Ridiculous.

      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 1700+ dead Americans, 100,000+ dead Iraqis, all on your head. WWJS?

      by Miss Blue on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:17:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the thing about tin foil hats is... (4.00) can't see it in a mirror if you're wearing one.

      There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

      by FemiNazi on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:22:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank God!!! (4.00)
    I think it's important to notice we're not banning conservative dissent (as RedState bans liberal dissent), but that we're policing our OWN weird side of the street.

    Terrific move. Couldn't agree with it more.

    •  Great Point (4.00)
      It's not about the opinions, it's about the absolutely non-existent support for their opinions, often accompanied by disdain for anyone who has the termerity to not believe them.
      •  Quality vs. Ideology (none)
        Yes ...

        That said, even "quality" is subjective.  

        "Hillary Clinton fathered a half-black child with a prostitute in Mississippi. I'll stake my reputation on it." -- Ken Mehlman, RNC Chairman

        by bink on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:58:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Potter Stewart Comes To Mind (4.00)
          I'm not sure how to define batshitcrazy wingnuttery, but I know it when I see it.  ;-)
          •  The guy who said (none)
            AQ was overblown had me wondering.

             This instance of unemotional, reality based banning is a good one.

            I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

            by Anderson Republican on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:03:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  AQ is overblown (none)
              they are in fact overblown on purpose by the Bush administration. You may have noticed the rhetorical hyperbole called the "war on terror."
              •  AQ is less structured than DQ (none)
                There are people saying that AQ is a myth, that is only comprises a few dozen guys in Afghanistan. That isn't true. It is likely that AQ is more nebulous an entity than most people think, though the MSM description of it as a "wolrdwide network" is pretty apt I think. But they don't have parliamentary elections or a currency or anything, and there's no "there there" which makes it harder to fight them.
                •  no one knows (none)
                  or if they do they're not telling: both AQ and the Bushies like it that way, b/c it allows them to distort the threat for their own gain. Ridge said as much when he admitted in USA Today he was pressured by the WH to up the alerts for political reason. There is a lot of indication that AQ, if not entirely fabricated in a Pentagon basement, is at least exaggerated by the Bushies.

                  For instance, how many bonafide AQ cell members or potential AQ sympathizer terrorists reside on American soil as of today? No way of knowing, but if I had to guess I would say it's under 30 if that. For all we know there may not be any on US soil, or there may be 1000. But that latter number seems totally unrealistic to me.  

            •  You are aware that Usama ibn Ladin and his (none)
              ...cohorts never referred to themselves a al-Qaeda until a year or two after they were named as such by the DoJ in court filings surrounding the Africa embassy bombings?

              Al-Qaeda has no clear structure, and this is why there is debate as to how many members make up the organisation, whether it is tens or hundreds of thousands scattered across the globe, or whether it is even zero. According to the BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares, al-Qaeda is so weakly linked together that it is hard to say it exists apart from Usama ibn Ladin and a small clique of close associates.

              The lack of any significant numbers of convicted al-Qaeda members despite a large number of arrests on terrorism charges is another reason to doubt whether a widespread entity that meets the description of al-Qaeda exists at all. Still, the extent and nature of al-Qaeda remains a topic of dispute.

              A useful distinction can be made between al-Qaeda and sectarian or nationalist terrorist groups. Such terrorist groups generally operate nationally within one country and for specific poltical goals, whereas al-Qaeda is believed mostly to involved in international terrorism, but also has links to national terrorism. The vast majority of the people arrested appear to be nationalist or sectarian centric terrosits, not al-Qaeda.

              Even the al-Qaeda name itself does not seem to have been used by bin Laden himself to apply to his organisation until after the September 11 attacks. Previous attacks attributed to bin Laden and al-Qaeda were, at the time, claimed by organisations under a variety of names. Bin Ladin himself has later attributed the al-Qaeda name to the MAK base in Pakistan, dating from the Afghan war days.

              I think it is without question that there are most definitely a lose  association of disparate extremists and groups with shared goals and so forth, but many of the claims about al-Qaeda being a huge S.P.E.C.T.R.E. with brown skin is simply not accurate.

              Food for thought.


              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:06:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think what he said (none)
              if we're talking about the same person (maybe not) is that Al-Qaeda doesn't exist.  Actually, I think it was phrased as a question, something like "how do we know that Al-Qaeda exists?"  In any case, it was a lot more crazy than simply saying that AQ was overblown.
          •  you know it when you see it (none)
            because it makes your little soldier salute, eh? Sorry, I just couldn't resist that.
        •  And I think (4.00)
          kos have given a very wide lattitude when it comes to quality.

          However, there are just some thing that people just say

          1. Despite the fact that it has been debunked on numerous occasions...yet they still post it


          2. Say it, because Bush is the direct cause of all world evil, so if people blew up bombs in Hazanistan, it was the CIA who planted the bombs (and the truth is so obvious that they need no proof).

          Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:02:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  haha (4.00)
        disdain for anyone who has the termerity to not believe them

        speaking of pots and kettles

      •  The Tenor of the Site Has Changed (4.00)
        There is a lot of anger. Not the productive kind that is a catalyst for action but anger for anger's sake.

        I never saw it here until just recently and I feel really uncomfortable with it.

        Please don't tell me to leave if I don't like it because I have no desire to do that. I have been posting here a long time now and always felt a kinship with everyone, even if I happened to disagree with one issue or another. I really don't understand what has happened recently.

        Or am I just overeacting?


        •  I think your perception is (4.00)
          right.  At least, I know I'm a lot angrier than I've ever been, and, though never a conspiracy theorist, am at the point where I'll at least give a listen to things that, seven years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at.

          The anger is justifiable.  The US is being destroyed from within at the very moment it faces some genuine threats that are extremely serious (environment chaos, terrorism, economic).  

          I used to live in Israel.  What I see happening here has been happening there.  The nation is split between those who are certain that any Palestinian state is 100% unnacceptable and those who are certain it's 100% necessary for peace.  No compromise.  And then each side begins to demonize the other.  The anger grows, the rhetoric heats up.  

          Rabin is assassinated, death threats are regularly issued to those in the peace blocs.  The chasm widens until it's unbridgeable.  And who knows what happens next.

          Conspiracy theorists are not helpful because they don't result in productive action.  I didn't see the conspiracy diaries so I have no idea what they said, but as I admitted, my own anger makes me more open to crazy ideas, even as I know such things are destructive.  It's worrying.

          •  Thnx for your interesting perspective--I've (none)
            wondered how Israelis viewed/view what's happened, as I preceive it, in their country. What does one do? Did you leave because of the sharp break?
            •  I left because (4.00)
              I got tired of living in an armed camp and of the extreme limitations of that life.  I felt guilty about leaving and still do.

              There is an enormous bitterness between the right and everyone else (center and left), worse than I've ever seen it.  On the right are many immigrants from Russia and the US, especially religious from the US, and many of the Sephardic/Mizrahi community.  The left has splintered, due in part to the same pressures the American opposition had after 9/11.   But also due to poor leadership.

              It's kind of a cliche to say that if there is ever peace with the Palestinians, a civil war will follow between the left and right, the secular and religious.  It's rather scary to see so many similar splinters now happening in the US.  

              I cannot figure out why anyone would want a theocracy.  It's been a disaster everywhere it's been done.  Yet the fundamentalists of all brands keep pushing everyone else over the damn cliff.  Cheered on by the oligarchs who figure they can make money more easily in a repressive and frightened nation.

              •  Re: civil war--I actually surprised myself the (none)
                other day by thinking exactly that about things here; ran for the tin foil immediately.  

                Must have been thinking about the years before the actual Civil War. I'm reading "Slave Nation: How Slavery United the Colonies & Sparked the American Revolution," by Alfred and Ruth Blumrosen, which posits that the American Revolution was actually sparked by an English judge who ruled slavery illegal in England in 1772. The colonies had charters which stated no laws enacted there could be "repugnant" or contrary to English law, and Parliament subsequently passed legislation which declared parliamentary power over "all cases whatsoever."

                What I'm finding so frightening is that so many principals of this nation can be tossed aside so quickly under a state of "fear."  

                I'm sorry you found it necessary to leave. I keep wondering how many of us Canada will take....  

          •  and don't forget that if you're (none)
            not with us, you're against us.

            he that hath no stomach to this fight let him depart

            by 2nd balcony on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:32:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not overreacting (4.00)
          I've noticed a much harsher tone from a lot of the elite front page posters here. I feel like the ability to have a reasonable disagreement on Kos has vanished - when someone posts an unpopular or dissenting opinion, there is an immediate attack rather than an effort to engage in rational discussion. When something tin-foil hattish appears, people seem unable to ignore the conspiracies and focus on the realities.

          Just my O.

    •  Discussion (4.00)
      The wackos on our side are far worse IMO.  

      I want to see conservative dissent here.  I have much more respect for a conservative who comes here and makes a reasonable argument than the nutjobs who  see conspiracies theories everywhere.

      Having said all that, think twice before you buy a copy of 'The Catcher in the Rye'. The CIA keeps a list of those who do.  Well, it isn't actually the CIA.  It is UN agency headed by a French diplomat.  But trust me, these people play hardball.

      That's where I saw the Leprchaun. He tells me to burn things! -R. Wiggum

      by Blue Neponset on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:09:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I couldn't stand that book... (none)
        Holden Caulfield came off as an obnoxious whiny prick.  Just my opinion, but I couldn't empathise with him.

        "The Britons never, never, never shall be slaves!" Daily Kos remembers 7/7/05

        by teenagedallasdeaniac on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:33:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Allie died (none)
          and he freaked out about it.  

          He couldn't handle the emotions his brother's death brought up so he acted them out.  As a result, he did act a tad obnoxious at times but I don't think he crossed into prickdom.

          I felt bad for Holden.  He seemed like a nice guy who was going through a hard time.

          P.S. Welcome to the list.

          That's where I saw the Leprchaun. He tells me to burn things! -R. Wiggum

          by Blue Neponset on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:42:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Loved it, (none)
            one of my fav. highschool books... I identified with Holden's cynicism at my young age of 16... My teacher shocked the hell out of me by saying I was him with my angry cynicism...

            I'm still cynical... but at least now I know I am... :)

            "There is no spoon."

            by L0kI on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:57:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I read it a couple of times (none)
              but could never connect with Holden.  However,  several friends (all guys) said they loved it.  I guess this gal just couldn't relate at the time.

              "It does not require a majority to prevail but rather an irate tireless minority keen to set brushfires in people's minds."~ Samuel Adams

              by Pandora on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:32:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Wackos are whackos (4.00)
        whether they believe 9/11 was a CIA plot or that black helicopters from the UN are mutilating cattle.  

        I submit theirs are worse, since right wing nutjobs are given a seat at the GOP planning table, unlike dems, where they are maybe allowed in the room to watch, but only if they behave themselves.

        Big Media is hated by the GOP because they sometimes tell the truth. We should hate Big Media for the other 97 percent of the time when they don't.

        by Ugluks Flea on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:53:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I want to see an exchange of ideas, too (none)
        but I have seen many cases here in which perfectly rational and well stated dissenting viewpoints were shouted down or troll rated. That's a misuse of the rating system and in an odd irony, trollish itself.

        Now as for these batshit crazy diaries, I think it would be preferable to debunk once, then ignore. Banning these folks just gives them something more to blather about. And, I'm not sure about the technical aspects here, but can't they just reregister under another identity? So what are you accomplishing, really?

      •  I don't really see the (none)
        difference between a conservative who makes his argument based on belief and a conspiracy theorist making his argument  on belief?
    •  I was a little anxious about this move... (none)
      ...until I read this comment.  Thanks for putting it in perspective.
    •  The difference is quality (none)
      I'm disappointed SusanG.  You of all people know the "nothing to see, move along" push back on the Guckert story.  The difference should be in the quality of any investigation, not that undertaking a particular investigation might make one look weird.

      I think there already is a fair amount of proper criticism of unsubstantiated accusations or speculations without outright banning. Are you willing to throw out the good investigation with the bad because someone finds the topic embarrassing?

      •  Gannon/Guckert (4.00)
        Was fueled by facts and reality. The investigation dug up information that was impossible to refute.

        What I'm worried about is idle speculation based on nothing more than hatred for the other side.

        I hate the other side as much as the next guy, but they are providing enough genuine material without having to invent shit.

        •  read the David Ray Griffin books (3.57)
          about 9/11. They are also based on facts: facts the 9/11 Commission overlooked. Do I agree with the "conspiracists" about 9/11? I'm genuinely not sure. But I'm glad I looked into it, and I encourage everyone else with an open-mind to do so.

          Wackos, wingnuts, tinfoilers, conspiracists: these phrases paint with such a broad brush, and only discourage people from thinking critically, educating themselves, and making up their own mind on a whole host of events and issues.

          I actually think people should read and think critically about everything: they should expose themselves to uncomfortable ideas in order to think more clearly and to question themselves.

          •  Thanks for the comment Gnat (none)
            You said exactly what I wanted to say, but in a much better way than I could.
            •  Thank you. (none)
              Yes, please read the facts before you ban people from the board.  

              David Ray Griffin has spent countless hours compiling evidence showing that the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks.  To ignore those facts is to continue living in the Dark Ages.

              Kos, you of all people should be careful about shooting the messenger.

              I'm disheartened by this new development and will gladly this website if free speech is condemned.

              "And this here is the ass of a drunken shitbird!"

              by Calamity Jane on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:32:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  It started... (none)
          with some pretty oddball questions, some hypothesizing (err theorizing), and Deep Throat's reminder to "Follow the money."

          Some theories are proven right. Some are total trash. But they start with an idea and a hypothesis that needs to be worked through...collaboration often helps kick out the flotsom.

          "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

          by kredwyn on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:17:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  BIG difference ... (4.00)
        between investigation and speculation.

        If I see someone looking into something I happen to conceive of as "tinfoil," but they're doing it in a legitimate way ... tracking down sources, cites, interviewing, making phone calls and FOIA requests, looking at documents, that's one thing.

        Piecing together whacko conspiracy theories with no cites (beyond Wayne Madsen and that weird tbrn site or whatever it is), no looking for original documentation, no nothing but weaving disparate "facts" and opinions together ... well, I view that as totally counterproductive.

        In fact, it puts legitimiate investigative work on the defensive and dilutes it, in my opinion, so it's harmful.

        EVEN if an investigation turns up nothing, if it is proven to have not been "reality-based," if it's done in a legitimate manner it actually helps because it can serve to help people debunk bullshit down the line.

        I don't see what Markos is doing as shutting down legitimately looking into stuff he thinks is tinfoil; I see what he's doing as bolstering the demand for legitimate, citeable, well-reasoned discussion -- even of things he thinks is tinfoil -- instead of throwing around crazy, non-reality based speculation that damages the credibility of the site.

        It's protecting the diarists who ARE trying to hunt down in a concrete fashion from not being tarred by non-fact-based speculation.

        •  Legitimate investigative work (4.00)
          has not faired well when it delved into topics that made editors uncomfortable.  That's the conspiracy free reason for why the corporate media no longer serves its purpose in a democracy. Some topics are just too "icky" and eventually, all but the strongest journalists give in to reporting stories that they know their editors will print. Missing white chick anyone? Shark!

          Lucky for W&B that they had Ben Bradlee despite Katie Graham's tit caught in a big fat wringer. Gary Webb was not so lucky. It's human nature to want to avoid embarrassment and the rational mind will provide plenty of logic to support why a particular story lacks journalistic merit.  DSM anyone?

          So, I don't buy that banning the "weird" frees reality-based reporting. "Weird" is subjective and in the hands of the few, it is a dangerous thing indeed. In the collective reality-based world, legitimate investigative work can be judged on its merits.  Show us your work should be the standard in a democracy, not single or limited source censorship.

        •  Hey Susan... (none)
          Not wading into this discussion 'cause I have no clue what the diaries in question have been about... but wanted to let you know that I have had pneumonia for the last month & bronchitis and have been offline for the most part, as you know... I try to venture on to check out the news and such, but, other than a couple of days at the end of June (where I felt better and then ended up tearing cartilidge in my ribs because my bronchitis came back hard) I haven't been on my computer. I'm taking it easy this weekend and am feeling a bit better again so I'll reconnect with everybody and start moving again... so sorry things ground to a halt there. It's been a tough few months with my grandparents passing and then getting sick but writing helps me stay sane so I am looking forward to getting back to helping out again.


          Personal aside complete, time to say... people, if SusanG was alarmed by the tactics and methods of these stories than 'nuff said. She is the bar by which we should hope to be judged.


        •  I agree...sorta... (none)
          But there was an awful lot of speculation going on in those diaries. And there were a number of different paths that didn't get covered because they weren't considered solid enough.

          But the whole thing started out as speculation with a lot of unanswered questions that started getting answered. Sometimes the speculation works out...sometimes it doesn't.

          We didn't know what we'd get when we got the scoop on Guckert...we still don't know the whole thing. And there was a lot of specualtion on that...there still is.

          As an information analyst/writer...I've learned that you need to follow many 'green leafy lanes' before you get what it is you're looking for. And sometimes your 'break' comes from the most inocuous thing...

          "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

          by kredwyn on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:29:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This mantra of "Reality Based" (none)
          this and reality based that is giving me the heebie jeebies, the willies, the creeps.

          Those two words are sounding more and more Eagle Scout by the minute -- in that really evil apple-cheeked, march in lockstep way.

          What is it now .. turn in your tin foil hat for a thin tin badge, and, why lookee, youve been deputized as a Reality Based occifer of the law round these parts ...?

          Sorry, this just sucks.

          And yeah, some of the diaries, a whole lot of them suck, but mostly because they lack body, lack structure, lack a well thought out idea or rant or whatever. Oh, and IMAGINATION.

          Shall we ban those too?

          I cannot think of a better way to NOT remedy the above and at the same time KILL imagination than by this ban.

          Come to think of it, I find very few that are way out conspiracy trips. I think that some of the most dangerous diaries to the health of the Democratic party are ones that are perfectly mainstream acceptable to this community, like the ones by our own front pagers who laud Ben Nelson (a dangerous Republican in Dem clothing) ... yet this is acceptable.

          CHILLING ... Absolutely chilling and way counter-productive, this little exercise in "purging."

          oh, ps - I hate bankruptcy bill (+ ANWR) traitor dems.

          by NYCee on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 12:08:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well ... (4.00)
    ... this seems extreme.  Shades of RedState.

    OTOH: I feel you on the conspiracy theories, which are insulting, enraging and a huge distraction.  And unfortunately this community can be tarred with nutty opinions posted here, even if they're shouted down.  Who knows how many of them are even sincere? Here I could get into my own conspiracy theories :)  

    I'm sorry you felt you had to take this step. I'll have to think through how I feel about it longterm.  On balance I prefer a DKos which is a fully free speech zone, and this, while understandable, may cross a line for me.  

    •  Ah, the difference between (none)
      theory and practice .

      Actually I'd missed the nutty bunnies, what with trips to the amusement park and all.

      Someday, the people who know how to use computers will rule over those who don't. And they will have a special name for us: Secretaries. - Dilbert

      by Frankenoid on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:59:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree (3.80)
      I totally see why. I'm just not sure I like the idea of a purge here, where I've personally gotten pretty used to the "wild west"ness of the blog. Sure, there are often folks who drive me batty and derail things for a while, but to me, dealing with the occasional loons (even when they get loud for a while) is just the price of an open and free blog. I've always felt happy that kos has been particularly careful about using his ability to ban people, and this one might cross a line for me too. I'll have to think about it.

      Of course, I see the logic; our loons can get pretty disruptive, and it's been hard to bog through all that stuff. I'm just not comfortable, I guess, with mass bannings in general and particularly with mass bannings based on content, so long as the content is presented in a more-or-less respectful way.

      Shorter: I see the point, I'm just not sure I agree with the decision to have a "purge", which seems a bit extreme to me. But then, it's not my blog, so there you go.

      •  Thanks ... (none)
        ... it's a tough one.  Fact is, the community has become highly visible, and it (and our causes) benefit from that.  This requires that some discipline be instilled, and no amount of reasoning with the loons will keep the blog from being winger-ized every time Rove gives somebody a dirty look.

        Then again, free speech is a real bright line for me.  I think of the true loons as being something like a less disgusting version of Kooky Fred Phelps Krew, and the rest of us reality-based lot as something like a police bagpipe band.

        God I love bagpipes.

        Well.  I suppose the crazies can shout from the rooftops elsewhere.  The net's a real big place.

  •  What can I say? (4.00)
    There have been times in recent weeks where the place has seemed like a lunatic asylum.

    First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

    by DCDemocrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:52:50 AM PDT

    •  lunatic asylum (none)
      There have been times in recent weeks where the place has seemed like a lunatic asylum.

      just weeks? just dkos?  this whole country's seemed like a lunatic asylum to me for the past four years or so.

      we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
      — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

      by zeke L on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:20:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was talking about dkos (none)
        I thought the surreal quality of dkos was just barely within a tolerable range up until the period when people became convinced that Hastert and Delay, emboldened with the truth about the President's lying ways, would urge their fellows in the Congress to vote for impeachment.  The aura of delusion that encumbered dkos at that point seemed to me like a shroom party from the early 70s.

        Yesterday, I posted a tongue in cheek diary calling for a movement to have Bush nominate Laurence Tribe, the lawyer for Gore in Bush v. Gore, to the Supreme Court.  Way too many people seemed to believe I was in earnest.  Most of my posts throughout the day yesterday made utterly outrageous claims, and everyone who interacted with me seem to think I was serious.  Needless to say, I was most amused, but it this is not the recipe for a serious political movement.

        First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

        by DCDemocrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:33:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank God that was tongue-in-cheek (none)
          I thought you'd gone insane.

          Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
          --M.L. King, Jr.

          by MasonLee on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:13:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Anyone who knows me on the site (none)
            knows that I a pretty faithful Catholic.  There was an anti-Benedict XVI diary written yesterday based on a premise that the diarist later acknowledged was not an accurate representation of fact.  When I first posted in the diary, I wrote a defense of Benedict (who, like a lot of very smart people, is far more subtle in his opinions than the media has given him credit.)  After a number of people ripped into me, I started to tear through that thread with the most vitriolic anti-Catholic and anti-papist diabtribes a knowledgable Catholic could concoct.  I basically was mocking people.  Someone came through and gave every anti-Catholic comment in the thread a one, including mine.  

            To be frank, there was a time at dkos not too long ago when people were smart enough to pick up satire.  It's just the case anymore.

            First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

            by DCDemocrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:40:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  typo (none)
              It's just not the case anymore.

              First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

              by DCDemocrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:42:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That was me... (4.00)
              And I just tried to go back and change my ratings but we're beyond the 24-hour window or whatever it is.  So I will offer up a 4 here and will try to offer additional 4s in the future as a peace offering.

              I did read your posts as some of the "most vitriolic anti-Catholic and anti-papist" writings one could come up with.  I'm usually good at picking up satire, but the fact that there are others on this site that post anti-Catholic rants (and mean them), and the fact that the thread was filled with bashers of Benedict, I guess I didn't have my antenna finely tuned enough to pick yours up.  So all I can offer is apologies.

              I did give out 1s because, frankly, so many of the posts in the thread were based in hatred and were the very definition of "unproductive".   And obviously I let my Catholicism get in the way of my satire-radar.

              •  No harm was done. (none)
                No one else gave a rating to those comments, so there was never an average created and mojo affected.  

                If you go back and look at that interesting thread, everywhere I posted one of my lurid hateful comments, the thread stopped.  The logical outcome of that kind of dialogue apparently left people cold.  An object lesson concerning real hated, I think.

                First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

                by DCDemocrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:09:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You're very quick with the 1s (4.00)
                You gave me (and a number of others) a clutch of 1s in a thread yesterday.  I believe my sin was to mention that Jesus was having a beer in Heaven with Muhammed and came down to straighten out the religious zealots who are running the Republican Party.  The thread was here (summary: asking why Christians emphasize the 10 Commandments; as a Christian, I agree with the question).

                Now, I'm not sure if you were just having a bad day, but I'm Episcopalian, went to a Catholic university, and intend to educate my children in Jesuit schools (as Episcopalians) when I have them, so I'm not anti-religion.  Your rating perplexed me, as I thought it was a harmless expression of Jesus' universal love in a somewhat humorous way.

                You don't seem like an unreasonable person, and I certainly respect persons of faith (being one myself), and I only mention it because I saw it come up here.  I didn't take it personally.. It did prompt me to check out your rating history, and you've got a lot of 1s and 2s given away in a very short time.  You might see them as useful rating tools (and, indeed, that's what they are in theory), but they do tend to be inflammatory the way they're currently used.

                Anyway, drive on, etc., and if we ever cross swords in a debate on some finer point of Catholic-vs.-Episcopalian theology (not that there's much difference), I'll look forward to the fight, but in a good way.

                Progressives live for the future. Conservatives dwell in the past.

                by socratic on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:26:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I'm torn. (4.00)
    On the one hand the quality of discourse on this site has really been falling both in terms of careless stuff (800 diaries with the same link) and nutty and/or nasty people.

    On the other hand, in general I'm against the suppression of discussion, even for whackos.

    Obviously Kos will do what's best, but perhaps a system whereby either people or individual diaries could be given a "tinfoil hat" status by Kos or front pagers (not by popular acclaim) and then have an icon appear next to their diaries and posts.  Individual users could then be given the ability to suppress tinfoil hat posts if they wanted.

    Frankly, I'm more concerned about the increasing down-rating of comments that contain meaningful but unpopular content.

    George W. Bush -- It's mourning in America.

    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:52:52 AM PDT

    •  Ambivalence (none)
      Me, too ...

      And yet, every marketplace, even those of ideas, requires regulation in order to function.  Mass bannings?  Not sure ...  Something else, probably, yes, maybe ...  Well, yeah.  There has been some really stinky stuff on here lately.

      "Hillary Clinton fathered a half-black child with a prostitute in Mississippi. I'll stake my reputation on it." -- Ken Mehlman, RNC Chairman

      by bink on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:54:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mass bannings (none)
        It sounds like mass deportations, but I know that a lot of people who have loved dailykos and produced good diaries and comments were very concerned about what had begun to happen here.  And it isn't like their lives are being snuffed out; they are free to go out and set up dailywhackjob if they want.

        First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

        by DCDemocrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:25:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No kidding (4.00)
      Frankly, I'm more concerned about the increasing down-rating of comments that contain meaningful but unpopular content.

      Yep.  This is at least as big a problem.

      •  Yes, but one wonders if the phenomenon (none)
        of the downrating of unpopular ideas might be related to the dismal content that we have been seeing in the diaries and the comments.  My sense is that a lot of people who have been posting do not have keen analytical skills.

        First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

        by DCDemocrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:46:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I like it (3.66)
      tin foil hat smilies for completely off the wall comments and diaries!


      "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

      by Andrew C White on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:06:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good ideas (3.66)
       I like the tinfoil hat flag idea, I think it's a much better solution than purging (not that I'm opposed to purging, Kos makes a good benevolent dictator and I trust him to purge the crazies around here). However, it does come with a risk of being wrongly applied, I've seen people who really seem to be saying one thing but are just poor writers. Not saying it shouldn't be done, just we'll need some checks and balances on it so that people can get out from under the flag where necessary.

       The downrating issue has always been with us since we moved to Scoop, I strongly suggest we implement some kind of metamoderation system similar to what Slashdot has. That way we can identify who is consistently abusing the moderation system and revoke (or just restrict) their ability to rate people.

      •  Unfortunately. . . (none)
        I strongly suggest we implement some kind of metamoderation system similar to what Slashdot has. That way we can identify who is consistently abusing the moderation system and revoke (or just restrict) their ability to rate people.

        I think you'll find that the one person's rating abuse is another person's responsible behavior.  I place more faith in the front pagers than in the community ratings.

        George W. Bush -- It's mourning in America.

        by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:41:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Distributed metamoderation (none)
           The way it works at Slashdot, and the way I envision here, is that the metamoderation function is distibuted across multiple people. You, me, and a dozen other people would all review the exact same set of comments. Another group of people would review another set of comments. The problem with putting it all on the front pagers is that there are a LOT of comments and only a few of them, with proper checks and balances you could make it a site-wide.
           An added feature could be that if you metamoderate comments in a way that a significantly differs from everyone else who saw that same comment you get your metamoderation rights revoked. That way the metamoderation system couldn't be abused either.  
          •  Maybe not comments, but diaries (none)
            WAY too many comments around here to moderate (IMO). Possibly too many diaries to do so, also, but I suppose some system could be worked out. My diaries (I've never done one) might be more likely to be looked at then, say, Georgia10's.

            Lots of work, though. How many mods would be needed to read diaries over a given shift -- how many hours a day would have to be put in just checking & grading diaries? And you'd have to have round the clock coverage... It might solve the "Breaking: look at CNN" diary problem, though  and whenever someone asks "Who made you the Diary cop?" some of us could answer "Kos!".

            •  Numbers (none)
               You don't need to have the metamoderator system go through every single comment, just a represenative sample. And the way things are now, a hell of a lot more people are reading comments and rating them than are actually posting comments. If I remember the numbers correctly the majority of registered uers don't post more than one comment a week, most are lurkers. I think the numbers would play out well enough that we could weed out a lot of abuse of both ratings and diaries. You could even flag certain rating distributions, for example of a post gets a bunch of 2's and 1's it automatically gets flagged for metamoderations, or if one gets a few 4s but a lot of 1s. Basically any situation where there is a large spread in how a comment gets rated. We don't need to check everything, just enough to catch the abuse - sort of like cops catching speeders.
        •  Hmmm. (none)
          Shades of Voltaire's ideal government -- enlightened dictators/monarchs and their philosophers who know what's best for the masses. What happened to democracy around here? What's best for the country should be best for dkos.
          •  Nothing (none)
            What happened to democracy around here?

            Nothing happened to democracy.  This is Markos' private blog, he can run it as he sees fit.  He turned it into a wide-ranging community and he can police it as he sees fit.  Thankfully, we have the ability to express our opinion but in this case an opinion is not the same as a vote.

            George W. Bush -- It's mourning in America.

            by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:58:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Public versus Private Obligations (none)
    •  I like this a lot (none)
      I'm not going to argue with bannings or diary deletions.  It's Kos' (and by delegation, the FPs) playground, regardless of how much we all cherish free speech.  

      How can real free speech and debate flourish when irresponsible people use this site to rate down conservative (but polite and well-argued) viewpoints and post multiple diaries arguing that the Likud was behind the London bombings?  My UID may be five digits, but I have been here long enough to notice how much more...well, STUPID this site has gotten overall.  No disrespect intended to the many brilliant and hard-working diarists and FPs that still reside here, of course.

      All that being said, I prefer the absolute least amount of banning, troll-rating and otherwise censoring possible while still making the site functional and an enjoyable place to be.  

      So if we can implement some sort of tinfoil-icon flag with the ability to hide diaries, I would love it.

      Visit - a blended double-tequila margarita of pop culture & LA nightlife.

      by KB on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:25:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the frequency of f^ck you (4.00)
      is becoming as unacceptable as the downratings. In some situations, the f u has been given prospectively and specifically simply to any who might dare to disagree.


      by seesdifferent on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:33:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I really like this idea (none)
      Why not clearly label the posts that are over the top and let people just ignore them?  It would even alert outsiders to the fact that we recognize that some opinions on the site are outside the mainstream (or the bounds of reality).

      My ideal is the recent "underreporting of Iraq casualties" saga.  Someone diaried this; it was authoritatively debunked and recommended up; and the next time the idea was referenced, the poster was rapidly set right with a link to the authoritative post. Subsequent postings on the topic were more or less ignored.

      As Kos gets more press, it's understandable that he wants his associates (which includes us) to look, well, 'not crazy'. But I am beginning to feel like the peculiar aunt who has to keep to her room when company comes.

      "Help us to save free conscience from the paw -- Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw." --John Milton

      by ohiolibrarian on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:10:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh boy (4.00)

    The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

    by Armando on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:53:22 AM PDT

    •  Nice SEXIST title. . . (4.00)
      . . . you splitter!

      Just kidding.  Please don't ban me.

      George W. Bush -- It's mourning in America.

      by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:56:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Coming from me (4.00)
      This will sound strange, but I think it is too severe.

      The recommenders, it seems to me, should have been given a clear warning shot, and this part won't surprise, we should have  deleted the offending diaries with an explanation as to why.

      Then folks could have chosen their own path.

      But as I say many times, it is Markos' site, we are his guests.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:04:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's severely antidemocratic (4.00)
        and it's a decision that flies in the face of the very progressive values we are told this site holds dear. Democracy itself and open-ended forums like dkos are inherently messy affairs, but that is their beauty. Scrubbing unpopular opinions reveals that kos no longer believes the community of this site can watch after their own.

        I was struck by the word "embarassing."

        Embarrasing to whom, to kos or to the diarist or poster?

        •  They're not just 'unpopular opinion' (none)
          anymore than "we didn't land on the moon!" is an "unpopular opinion".  Thats playing Fox's "fair and balanced" game...that facts are merely opinions, and being totally incorrect in facts is just a matter of opinion.

          Well no, it isn't an opinion.  They are just wrong, period.

          Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:23:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  if someone wants to write a diary (4.00)
            on dkos arguing that the moon landing was fake, I say let them. Then you and I can either get on the thread and tell that diarist why they're wrong or we can ignore the diary entirely.

            You chose the moon landing b/c it's an easy example. What about JFK, BCCI, Iran-Contra, CIA-drug smuggling, etc etc etc?

            Not every piece of recent history is easily classified ina black and white way.

            History ITSELF is revisionism. Every diarist or historian highlights certain things over others.

            So-called alternative histories are vital, and they are not all about UFOs or the Freemasons.

            My continued frustration is that we have prima facie evidence that conspiracies occur (what are the DSM??) and yet many act as if they never occur.

            I think we need more openness, not less.

            Deleting pro-Bush diaries is one thing. Deleting anything that does not fit into some comfortable notion of what's acceptable discourse seems antidemocratic.

            •  things where the explanation is up for debate (none)
              well, sure, I'd say let them, as long as they aren't stupid and start being like "George W. Bush assassinated JFK, faked the moon landings, and is for blame for Iran Contra, and I have proof!"

              There is difference between "here is my theory, and here is my evidence" and going off and not only making yourself look bad, but making this blog and everyone who posts on it look bad too.

              Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

              by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:35:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wrong Bush (none)
                That was GHW Bush, at least as far as contra/Coke, and a bitplayer in the JFK hit.

                No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

                by ben masel on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:07:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Conspiracy theories (4.00)
                I have not written a diary. I just started coming here because I did like the "freedom of speech."
                While i think anyone disrupting a site should be banned...i have to give some thought as to who decides if it's  a theory .

                 A year ago, would anyone have believed Bush orchastrated a war? Would that not have been seen as a conspiracy theory?
                Gotta think on this ban thing.

              •  Revisionism of Conspiracy History (none)
                No, see, this is revisionism. I knew Bush was lying during the buildup to war. My mom knew. My GRANDMA knew. Lots of people knew. That was NEVER a conspiracy theory because people who would know -- Clarke, Wilson, Ritter, Blix, etc. -- spoke up.

                What makes a conspiracy theory is that they dredge up former "officials" who know nothing of the present workings to valid a prefab theory dreamt up by dilletantes who have a toe in the business but no real knowledge.

                Man, I really wish I'd written that paper on the history and sociology of conspiracy theories instead of blowing it off -- after doing all the research -- and withdrawing from the class. Oops.

                •  But to say "Bush lied about WMD" before (none)
                  the DSM (and the other evidence) was to be labeled a conspiracist (or just ignored) in the media, etc.

                  Even now the WH and its minions deny that the DSM is any kind of smoking gun.

                  We also knew the memo about Bush's service was forged, but again this falls under unsubstantiated: Rather still lost his job.  

                  I would think we would become smarter, in the wake of the Bush administration's lies, about how the term "conspiracy" is largely used as a derogatory term to disqualify any and all unpopular viewpoints.

                  Generalizing about thoae wacko "conspiracists" is itself meaningless: there is too much grey area, and not all so-call conspiracy theories are either equally acccurate or equally inaccurate.

                  There is something too meta about this whole thread, since a lot of it is just potshots at a generalized, fictionalized "type:" that of the wacko paranoiac.

              •  a year ago (none)
                most of the regulars here already knew Bush had orchestrated the war.

                most of us knew it before the war even began (I wasn't on the site then, but I knew and so did everyone around me)

                we welcome you here, even if (especially if) you are relatively new to the concept that Bush orchestrated the war.  there is a lot of great information available here and we look forward to what you have to share with us.

                i hope you know how to read responses to your comments!

                Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:22:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  if it was your name on the site (none)
              would you want that sort of thing hung around your neck?
              •  maybe a simple note (none)
                on the front page:

                "Daily Kos is an open forum, and the views expressed by the posters and diarists herein do not represent the views of its founder or those of the Democratic party--or even, necessarily, those of mainstream liberals, democrats, and progressives. The nature of this forum is one of inclusiveness and open debate, and although the founder reserves the right to delete diaries he feels detract from the site, most of the 'policing' of dailykos occurs in the process of the debate (at time contentious) by the community itself."

                •  I don't think (none)
                  that this would do much good.  Disclaimers like this are designed to limit legal liability.  But it wouldn't rescue the reputation of Daily Kos from those who post absurd things.  I don't think that Kos is worried that people will accuse him of personally believing this stuff.  I think he's offended at the notion that people are using his forum to post this stuff at all.  He obviously wants no part of it, whether or not people assume that these views are shared by him or the Democratic Party.
        •  I know how you feel (4.00)
          And I respect that.

          You have taken me to task for my autocratic penchant for "reality" - as the FPers define it. Also my penchant for diary deletion.

          See, to me, deletion with an explanation is a middle ground that allows the member to decide if he can use dkos in a way that markos is comfortable with.

          My fundamental disagreement with you on this has always been that moderating (or suppressing if you like) speech here does not mean that that person can't speak as he wants wherever else he wants.

          For example, there are scoop sites at booman, MYDD, tpmcafe, just to name 3. Why not use those outlets for stuff that markos clearly does not want here.

          In the end, markos has "speech" rights too, and they include deciding what kind of speech he wants at his site.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:24:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ya gotta be... (none)
        ...cruel to be kind sometimes.

        A warning would have launched a very prolonged and very distracting period of chaos, argument and division, with the tinfoil hat crowd crying censorship, and everybody falling into a camp.  This is fast and relatively painless.  Probably more painless for the banned than it would have otherwise been.

        "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

        by The Termite on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:19:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So what? (4.00)
          We survived the periods before.

          Heck, yesterday I deleted a diary and it was nasty, but today the sun rises and the world continues.

          Look, gawd knows I am not afraid to be authoritarian, but I always like to think that you give the other folks a chance to decide if they are willing to use the site in a manner markos accepts.

          To me, deletions are just that type of warning shot. That's why I defend and explain why I did it. I want people to know that whether you agree or not, that is the way it will be, unless markos sez otherwise.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:27:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see your point (none)
            But I also see this site at a critical juncture in its evolution.  And in a ramp-up period for 2006.  And receiving increased exposure in the MSM, and increased traffic, presumably as a result of that increased exposure.  More and more this site is a brand, and I think that credibility and rigor is a big part of that brand that is worth preserving.  I know you don't disagree with these things, or with the goals, but with the way it was done, and I get that.  I just think that Kos probably saved all of us a few weeks of "Pie"-esque division and strife doing it this way.

            "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

            by The Termite on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:43:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Credibility is the issue... (none)
              and I think those on the other side of the fence know that.  It wouldn't suprise me if right-wingers were posting these diaries in order to trash them or cite them as an example on "their" sites in an attempt to harm the credibility of this site in general. To me, a lot of the batsh*t crazy stuff epitomizes the caricture that the right has of the left anyway, and may obscure other more focused and relevant discussion pertaining to "the forces of good" that occurs elsewhere on the site.

              Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. - T. Roosevelt

              by ranger31 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:09:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your comment suggests a conspiracy (none)
                in saying "It wouldn't suprise me if right-wingers were posting these diaries in order to trash them or cite them as an example on 'their' sites in an attempt to harm the credibility of this site in general."

                You're outta here! :)

                Pastor Ted Haggard of New Life Church: "They're pro-free markets, they're pro-private property," he said. "That's what evangelical stands for."

                by towit on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:40:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  The recommenders... (4.00)
        I agree with you about this.  The people who post this shit should have diaries deleted, and eventually banned if they persist, but the recommenders are a step removed, and should be warned before having their accounts deleted.

        "The Britons never, never, never shall be slaves!" Daily Kos remembers 7/7/05

        by teenagedallasdeaniac on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:21:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can I respectfully request (none)
          that you change your sig? -  I believe that your thoughts are genuine and that you mean well but the tone just feels wrong. I am a Londoner in exile and while I would never claim to speak for ten million or so people, I suspect that many would feel as I do.  

          On this topic - both sides of the debate are equally valid, really is a toughie.

          'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

          by stevej on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:11:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  can they take losing their user name/id (none)
        as a warning and make a new account?
      •  I disagree (4.00)
        I can't know Markos's mind on this, but I suspect he's been keeping an eye on how it's been going, and I would suspect that there's been a pretty reliable cohort of people regularly promoting the crazy stuff. Maybe they're also crazy or maybe they're just another kind of troll that found a way to hurt the site without putting themselves in danger of a ratings ban (now I'm getting into conspiracy theories).

        lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

        by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:32:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A good decision (4.00)
    You will no doubt have people objecting that banning these conspiracists constitutes censorship or some illiberal heavy-handedness.

    But it's not only your right to maintain standards on the blog that bears your name, it's your duty.

    Too much wild conspiracy does distort the reality-based community that we love here at DKos.  It degrades the very purpose of the blog.  And there is no reason it should be tolerated.  Ultimately, it would do considerable damage to our cause, if left unchecked.

    These people are not being "censored."  They can start their own blogs, rather than ruining this one.

    My heavy metal has turned millions into rock-a-holics. They've become zombies.

    by BrooklynRaider on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:53:50 AM PDT

    •  Censorship is not all bad (4.00)
      but please let's not deny that it is censorship.

      I would liken the censorship here to prohibiting libel or slander. Essentially, what we're saying is that because the banned material has no basis in truth, it has no value as speech and does not deserve protection in the community.

      Or something like that.

  •  They aren't letting you frontpage (4.00)
         any more?

         Don't tell me Armando banned you from the front page...

  •  I applaud the decision (4.00)
    There are plenty of wide open discussion areas for the fringe conspiracy promoters to enjoy.  I've always felt that this site had special promise to a more reasoned, partisan debate coupled with some action coordination.  

    The site's reputation, and the influence of its FPers, Diarists and Kos himself is jeapordized if this degenerates into a place where the lunatics are running the asylum.  I'm sure that this was a hard decision for Kos, or for any liberal, other than perhaps Armando (:-), to make.  I respect it.

    "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." MLK

    by jmaier on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:57:47 AM PDT

    •  just to add to this (3.90)
      This is the website to which the MSM and the Right turn to find out what dominant liberal blogosphere opinion is.  We can't let the nutballs smear the rest of us and make all of contemporary liberalism look bad.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:01:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The key is... (none)
        that reasoned, well-thought out, intelligently argued things will always be welcomed here, even if we disagree with them.  However, things that are none of the above aren't welcomed.  Though I think that we should hold ourselves to the same standard.  If someone calling (hypothetically) Howard Dean a "dunderheaded pigfucker" would be troll-rated into oblivion, we should stay away from calling folks with whom disagree "dunderheaded pigfuckers," unless, of course, there is evidence that they do, in fact, fuck pigs.
      •  oh bullshit (3.60)
        is that really all this website is to you: a PR extension of the "dominent liberal blogosphere"?

        Boy that sounds really great: why not just get rid of the threads entirely, in all their glorious, DEMOCRATIC cacophony, and have ready-made talking points replace them?

        How open-minded of you.

        Do you not see that you cannot sugar-coat a site like this, that is by definition open-ended and off-the-cuff, in a way that will allow for 'the MSM' to still find fault? After all, this is the same argument DINOS make about not rocking the boat.  

        •  asdf (4.00)
          for the record, I'm not a fan of your tone though I understand the frustration, but I agree with your larger point. There's going to be an ever-increasing temptation to police the blogs with an eye to PR, a felt need to keep the "embarassing" elements quieter so that we can focus on presenting our messages in the best possible light for public and media consumption. As the blog gets more and more outside attention, it will seem more and more urgent to make sure that people only see our "good" side -- that the reputation of the place is protected.

          When that happens, the blog has fundamentally changed. And not for the better, IMO. Then, it will have gone from open discussion on all manner of things to some sort of left-wing advertisement. Now, ads and PR are necessary things for the left. But so are open discussion spaces. The two do not always work well together, and in the past, kos has always erred on the side of open discussion.

          Are some of the people on my side embarrassing? Yep. Should we shove them in some bottom drawer for fear that somebody might find out that we have loons too? And what constitutes "embarrassing"? Should we avoid potentially "embarrassing" topics, like gay marriage? I generally hate the slippery slope thing, but it's impossible to ignore here.

          I'm here to speak my mind, not be a wing of the Democratic Advertising Squad.

          •  the cool thing about the net (4.00)
            is that they can have their own megaphone elsewhere and say whatever they want.  kos is basically saying that they just cant do it here.  they are not living up to his standards of discourse.  so while they are not here, they can very easily in 10 minutes throw up their own blog and fill it with conspiracies to their hearts content.

            Yeah the revolution starts now..So what you doin' standin' around? -Steve Earle

            by juls on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:07:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're right (4.00)
              and I can always pick up and go do something else with my time, too, if I think this place is no longer what I'm after -- I would rather tolerate the kooks but also have people be unafraid to say exactly what they'd like, so long as it's not actually trollish.

              Not that the blog comes to an end when any couple o' posters turn off the computer for a while, but I personally suspect that this decision among others may fundamentally change the tone of this place in ways that kos would've been upset with in the past.

              I'm also personally the most uncomfortable with the lack of warning, the decision to ban people for recommending diaries, and so forth. Banning people after ample warnings about their level of discourse would bother me significantly less, though I would again disagree.

              This place will never have trouble attracting readers and posters of some kind -- that's not the point, and the loonies certainly have plenty of other outlets. But the free-for-all quality of blogs is exactly what makes them so appealing to many of us, what makes them so different from the rest of the top-down media, and it would be quite a shame to me to see that fundamentally changed.

          •  I appreciate the concerns (none)
            and the tone as well.

            Anyone should know I don't care about what "the other side" or the "MSM" or "journalism professors" think about me or the site. I never did, and never will.

            What I DO care about is that we base our discussions and conclusions on rationality, embrace of science, and strict adherence to reality.

            So many of us spend so much time talking about the Right's "faith-based" world outlook. And all of that is undermined by people on our side who simply make shit up out of thin air., or cling to discredited "evidence" to support their existing biases. Like, for example, those who still think there have been over 10,000 U.S. soldiers KIA in Iraq.

            To me, that is unacceptable. I won't censor their right to say those things. I just want them to say it somewhere else. This site needs to be grounded in reality for it to be successful. We compromise on that, and everything we've accomplished has been for naught.

            •  But how do we know (none)
              I'm not referring specifically to the 10,000 KIA matter, but for a lot of things it's hard to know the truth, especially given the secrecy of this administration.

              Today I was arguing with my officemate about the Iraq mess, and he declared that things were definitely better than they were under Saddam.  He started citing statistics about increased car ownership, which he attributed to better jobs and a growing economy.  I said, "how could the economy be growing when they don't even have basic services and security."  He insisted that this information was out there, but was not being covered by the MSM.

            •  I understand (none)
              where you're coming from, and one of the larger problems I see with the format of blogs is that no matter how many times something is debunked, it is still likely to show up -- because there are new posters and new, unconnected conversations happening all the time. So telling one person that their crazy speculation is completely baseless does not end the speculation overall.

              Still, I personally believe strongly in the power of the scrollbar and the power of most people to see the difference between good ideas backed up with evidence and random off-the-cuff bullshit. The web is teeming with misinformation, and it's always reader beware... to try to change that is, to me, not only futile but sort of missing the point.

              I've always deeply respected this site in no small part because you've been so committed to not using your authority here lightly, and I trust that this wasn't a decision you made without careful consideration. I just disagree with it, or at least the way you've carried it out. As the site grows and attracts new people, it's probably going to become more and more tempting to rein things in so it doesn't become one big chaotic mess; I cannot say strongly enough how much I think it would be a mistake in the long run to give in to that temptation unless the situation is really dire.

              The site needs to be grounded in reality, and the front-page pretty much consistently is. The diaries are a free-for-all. That, to me, seems perfectly healthy.

            •  What constitutes "the real" has been (none)
              a major focus of debate among western philosopher for several thousand years.  For the most part, our age embraces a model of the real developed in the empirical philosophical bents of folks like Descartes, Hume, and Kant, and we know that science has proven to be a phenomenally successful endeavor.  Even so, there is a broad consensus among philosophers of various inclinations that the Enlightenment aspiration for certain knowledge was an overly hopeful goal.  Now we are becoming a lot more comfortable with a multiplicity of viewpoints that seem defensible on their own terms.  In the midst of all of this new sensibility has arisen a love of fable and a rejection of the possibility of real truth.  This ideation affects all of us.  It is in the air.

              All of that beings said, there is still something phenomenally flakey about claims akin to, "Dwarf rapes nun and escapes in flying saucer."  The difficulty of defining obscenity was memorably summarized by Justice Stewart when he wrote: "I know it when I see it."

              First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

              by DCDemocrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:24:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  not all ends are open (4.00)
          I don't care if this site ranges from pro-Lieberman all the way out to pro-Sharpton, but there's a point beyond which, whether it's the off-the-rails conspiracy talk of yesterday to some of the "the Jews run our foreign policy against America's interests" talk, that really makes us look bad.

          With great power comes great responsibility.  I learned that from the Spiderman movie.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:32:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The goal here is not open discussion (4.00)
          The goal is getting Democrats elected.  This used to be cheifly a poll-tracking site, believe it or not, and kos has always been very clear that this is a partisan site- on the side of Democrats.

          Open discussion is the tactic, not the ultimate goal.  We believe that open discussions will lead to good ideas, which will lead to Democratic victories.  Thus, protecting open discussion is important.

          But protecting open discussion at the expense of promoting the Democratic "brand" (for lack of a better word) defeats the primary objective.

          "Bush planned the bombing" diaries hurt our ability to help get Democrats elected, because they discredit the sites reputation. And in politics, reputation is important.

          •  if dkos is primarily about branding (4.00)
            and PR for the Democratic party, why bother even having open forums? I'm not being snarky here, but allowing people to diary on a wide range of topics is really not the best way to create a unified piece of partisan PR, is it?

            I also think you wildly overstate the idea that people come to dkos to get a pulse or even talking points of the Democratic Party. Kos himself has never shied away from saying controversial things that no official mothpiece for the Dems (not even Dean) would ever actually say.

            The idea that dkos functions chiefly as PR for the Democrats seems too hollow to attract regular users. There is a spirit of openness and inclusiveness and free-for-all discussion that to me seems more valuable and intrinsic than just having everyone toe the party line.

            •  meant "tow" (none)
              not "toe" the party line.
            •  from this past week, on NRO Online (none)
              THE SPANISH CONNECTION [John Hood]
              Just to further answer Cliff May's question, some of the commenters at DailyKos are already making the Madrid/Iraq/blowback comparison to today's London attacks. But in fairness, others are (correctly, I think) arguing that the Brits are likely to react differently than the Spaniards did.
              WE ARE AL QAEDA; WE ARE THE TALIBAN [Byron York]

              A July 4th message from the popular left-wing website DailyKos:

              Funny how the wingers try to claim American liberals are in league with crazy fundamentalist Muslims. Reality is, we hate everything Islamic fundamentalism stands for. On the other hand, the Dobson's of the Republican Party -- you know, the people running the show -- have far more in common with the enemy than they'd ever like to admit. . . .

              The lesson, writes Markos Moulitsas of the left-wing website DailyKos, is that "Bush should follow Hatch's wise example."


              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:27:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think it's (none)
              Toe - as in "toe up to the line in the sand"

              rather then "towing something along"

              But that's a guess ...

            •  it's not primarily about branding (none)
              As I said, it's primarily about getting Democrats elected.

              We have open forums because we actually believe that open dialogue is the best way to generate the best ideas.  The fact that it's egalitarian is, in a way, gravy.

              To use a different example, I don't support the free press becauise I think it's "fair".  It is fair, but that's not the reason I support it.  I support a free press because it is the best way to have an accountable government.  The fairness of it is gravy.

              If that free press gets in the way of having an accountable government (see Miller) then I stop supporting it.  Because it is only a means to an end, and the end is a open, honest government.

              Same thing here.  Open discussion happens because, unlike Republicans, we actually think bottom-up thinking works better than top-down thinking.  Not to strike a blow for perfect freedom of expression.

              Of course, this is all just my take on it.

      •  And: (4.00)
        GOP Congressman JD Hayworth, with that smirk on his face, sneered at all the conspiracy theories floating around out there. That sort of thing completely forecloses discussion on the real problems that happened with the election that frankly didn't pass the smell test. You could tell that the GOP legislators didn't want to take about meaningful reform at all; whereas, they might have if we had been more credible.

        This is kos' site, and we are his guests here. He makes the rules just like if we were guests at someone's home. If the host doesn't want you wearing shoes in their house, then don't wear shoes. That is the bottom line.

        Teacherken was wondering why his recommended diary was so quiet; I guess that was the reason why.

        And yet, what about the piefight wars? Maybe the fights about the pie ads were trivial. But they were a symptom of the rampant sexism and lack of civility that some individuals choose to show. Kos clearly overreacted in that instance with his diary then.

  •  thanks (none)
    I agree with your move.

    We on the left often fall prey to the idea that anyone trying to guide the discourse away from reality-based discussion is a "fascist" infringing on free speech. In this case I do not subscribe to that idea.

    This is not an open forum, and has never been presented as such. It is moderated, both by the community and the front-pagers. If you/we can moderate dicussion to exclude trolls from the right, you/we can also moderate it to exclude recidivist baseless speculation from the left.

    Guiding discussion in a realty-based direction - after giving folks repeated guidelines on what is acceptable - is hardly "fascist." Not in a community like this.

  •  It's your site (4.00)
    But one question, are some conspiracy theories more equal?  It seems that the official conspiracy theories are too easily swallowed.  I dont think that Bush and Blair are exactly known for their honesty.
  •  asf (4.00)
    I'm not criticizing the decision.  It was probably the right thing to do, given what we've seen around here over the last couple of weeks.

    Still, I can't help but think that the necessity to ban indicates a failure in one or more of the self-policing mechanisms, and that serious thought should now be put into how to work out the kinks in what has otherwise been a phenomenal example of the potential of open-source journalism/commentary.

    For example, I like the idea, floated above, of being able to rate diaries.

    •  I Think One of the Failures... (none)
      ...and one that I can't really blame people too much for, is that the reasonable and rational sorts who like to have reasons for their beliefs (other than "Bush is bad, so he's responsible for everything bad that happens in the world") have mostly given up trying to tamp down the wingnuttery.  I know I've seen you question people, and others have as well.  But I've learned over the years that while most people will respond to reason, some just wont.  And after a while, a small batch of lunatics end up running the whole damn asylum.

      I'm not sure this problem will ever completely go away.  I think it requires constant vigilance and periodic harsh measures.  But it will be less of a problem if people who don't accept the wingnuttery speak out about it so the voices being heard above everyone else aren't those belonging to the wingnuts.

      •  the nature of any democratic forum (4.00)
        of discussion is that a wide range of views will be heard, and then the community can debate which ones are valuable and which ones are valueless.

        You often want to paint with a broad brush about "conspiracies." I think this is strange, since one person's "conspiracy" is sometimes part of the public record. What was Iran-Contra, and what did Enron do? Conspiracies in the BROADEST sense are a fact of life.

        Are there a lot of dipshit nutjob theories also? You bet there are. But we err if we lump them all together, and admit only that which has been pre-digested in the MSM.  

        •  the nature of conspiracy theories... (none)
          1 : the act of conspiring together
          2 a : an agreement among conspirators b : a group of conspirators
          synonym see PLOT    

          There are, clearly, conspiracies.
          Some theories about conspiracies are based on clear, factual evidence.
          Some are based on circumstantial evidence, possibly in addition to facts.
          Some are based on "I hate these people".

          (way oversimplified, but I hope  I make my point.)

        •  I agree..... (none)
          sure there are way too many ridiculous diaries being thrown out there, but many of them are the redundant ones, not necessarily the 'conspiratorial' ones....That said, even the ones labeled 'redundant' may very well have a twist not yet mentioned.....Too often, I've seen the 'diary police' smack down a diary as redundant simply because it hits on the same general subject as said 'policemans' diary and threatens their 'recommended' status offering.....As far as conspiracy diaries, maybe there should be some type of sourcing element involved; perhaps at least one source required in a diary...Sources can reduce the potential for outrageous speculation, as well as make diarists more circumspect and honest (not to mention weeding out the lazy trolls)...Just labeling something 'embarrassing,' however, is SO subjective....While there are many theories that never hold water, you can easily point to many more that may have been 'tin-foilish' on the surface but had that buried kernel of possibility/truth that sent someone else on the path to discovery (hat tip to ePluribus)....Anyway, just my thoughts....
    •  Here's another idea: (none)
      I think the 0-rating mechanism is too lenient. All someone has to do if they get a bunch of 0's is to lie low and wait for the 0's to decay. Then, when it decays enough, they come back.
      •  i think it's about right (none)
        because there are many people who are far too cavalier about throwing down those zeros.  scoop has so reduced the presence of real trolls to the point that people sometimes just jump on a poster who is not one of "us."  they may not be disruptive, but suddenly people snap to the fact that the guy is really a republican and they chase down his comment and obliterate them.  

        so if somebody wants to come back after a few weeks and is suitably chastened, why not?

        if they are really disruptive trolls, and go back to the same BS they had before, they'll get zeroed out again, and eventually banned.

        we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
        — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

        by zeke L on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:36:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My personal pet peeve (4.00)
    was the WTC building 7 guys, but the London conspiracy guys are just as bad.  

    People will scream about free speech, but I think it's important that one think of the site in terms of "branding".  It has a brand name and that brand has to stand for something and have value.

    "I have no clue" - Bill O'Reilly quoted completely out of context. Hey fair's fair right?

    by chicagochamp on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:00:19 AM PDT

    •  I'm on the side of free speech (4.00)
      As disgusting as I find the Fred Phelps, the Ann Coulters, the white supremacists, the Rush Limbaughs, the right to free speech is a core value of the American brand. It should be a core value of any progressive brand.

      If Fred Phelps himself posted a diary here, his rhetoric would be challenged, which is the proper process in a democratic community. Any content can and should be challenged, let it stand on its own merit or lack thereof. Banning content doesn't make it go away, it only serves to short circuit the democratic process.

      •  I understand your concern (4.00)
        but ideas get debated all over the cyber and real world every day.  Anyone is free to start their own site and discuss whatever they want.  There seems to be some concern that this move by Kos is "undemocratic".  I'm all for democracy in America, but not for this site.  This site is a benevolent dictatorship, and I'm completely fine with that.

        Also, I do agree that I personally would welcome debate from certain voices from the conservative side, but in general, I think that completely half-baked conspiracy theories allow the right to deride this site as a collection of kooks.  And I think this movement is really too important to let that happen.


        "I have no clue" - Bill O'Reilly quoted completely out of context. Hey fair's fair right?

        by chicagochamp on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:32:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ok but the line between (4.00)
          half-baked and fully-baked and not-in-the-oven is really hard to distinguish, especially on the fly (as events unfold). Consider the DSM: these offer verifiable proof of what was once merely conjecture. But it is the conjecture that built the framework in which that conspiracy (the conspiracy about WMD) is now part of the public record.

          Alternative histories can be exceptionally valuable, and increasingly so given the dissembling nature of the Bush administration.
          Furthermore, not all of these theories are alike: some of more cogent and possible than others. But I would rather have the community debate and decide this than see diaries deleted en masse b/c they do not conform to accepted and pre-digested histories. The process of history, like the process of democracy, and of critical thinking, is messy--but critical.

          •  I agree (none)
            that the grey areas about what constitutes a whacked out theory are the tough part.  That's where a certain amount of trust in the folks running the site is required.

            If that trust turns out to be misplaced and all kinds of ideas about the DSM's or about the possibility of a prostitute/right wing plant in the White House press corps (who'd a thunk it?) become grounds for banning, then clearly there will be a problem.  If that were to happen, I believe the free market of ideas would work as it should and that people would go elsewhere and join/start other places to voice their commentary.

            So I guess I think it's all about trust.

            "I have no clue" - Bill O'Reilly quoted completely out of context. Hey fair's fair right?

            by chicagochamp on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:09:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  We'll have to agree to disagree (4.00)
          I don't think that a dictatorship, no matter how benevolent, is a fitting model for a progressive community. If you're going to talk it, ya gotta walk it.

          The trade off is limiting free speech. I'd rather live in a community that not only allows free speech, but encourages it. My neighbors' free speech is as important as mine, no matter how "kooky". It troubles me greatly that a progressive community would be embarrassed of ideas, as if ideas themselves were either contagious or dangerous and must be shunned at all cost. Why should I be embarrassed by what my neighbor believes, and how is that somehow a reflection of what I believe?

          All ideas are not equal but the expression of them should be.  Everyone had the same opportunity to the open exchange of ideas here, no more no less. In the reality-based world, it should be considered more of an embarrassment to ban ideas than to challenge them.

    •  WTC7 (4.00)
      Thank you for bringing this up.  I clicked through specifically to see if it was about the weekly "WTC7 controlled demo" diaries.  I hate those.

      blog | These people looked deep within my soul and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined. -- Homer Simpson

      by folkbum on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:52:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The illuminati of Heathers (4.00)
    strike again. You DLC operatives don't want real ideas and stories to get out. You just want to cover for the Bush-lite appeasers.

    I'm outta here and joining the LaRouchies. Who's with me?

    •  Huh? (none)
      I realize you're joking, but could you answer me one question?

      What the heck does "Heather" mean in this context?

      •  research project (none)
        Go to and enter "Heathers".

        Bloggin Blagojevich's Blunders: do you want to see Roddy B challenged in the Dem Primary?

        by Carl Nyberg on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:11:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Heathers (none)
        are a dispicable group of people, led by General Kosisimo and his cabal of Vichey Dems, who stifle stories they deem detrimental to the site.

        Rent the movie "Heathers" and you can't miss the similarities. They all dress and talk and act the same while destroying anyone who is different.

        •  Heather Wilson Lovers? (none)
          That was my first thought.

          I should rent the movie and see if they are similar to HER...

        •  just for fun (none)
          and for anyone who is still wondering, who does'nt want to rent or even hunt up a listing to read about 'Heathers' - the Heathers of that film title were the viciously elitist clique at the high school depicted in the film.  By analogy, elitist Washington DC (aka 'Beltway') insider types - journalists and others, who fall into groupthink - are sometimes called 'Heathers'  (or Kool Kids, the DC Cocktail Party Set, etc.)

          Bonus trivia: in Heathers the elite in-need-of-taking-down were girls, with Christian Slater as a loopy rebel, who decided violence was the best response, & Winona Ryder the reluctant Heather and eventual turncoat
           - BUT -
          the plot of Heathers was pretty clearly inspired by a much more obscure film, with male villains: the quirky 'midnight movie' Massacre at Central High - which, far from being a slasher pic you might expect, is actually a bizarre (and kinda sexy) full blown 'revolutionary' political allegory set in a high school.  Highly rentable for anyone with a tolerance for 'B movies' (b movie = archaic term for the throwaway second feature at the drive in, which despite it's low budget was often more entertaining than the 'feature')

          Pop quiz on Monday.... 6^)

          I had to destroy my tinfoil hat because it was beaming coded messages into my brain.

          by stevelu on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:28:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I Like the Fact That "Illuminati"... (4.00)
      ...has become a more common term around here of late.  

      And any mention of brother Lyndon brings a smile to my face...

      •  The first time I saw (none)
        it I replied sarcasticly about a secret goup of posters. They commenter got all pissy and said he never implied anything about it being a secret group.

        A tip to all who use certain terms to denegrate people here. You should probably find out what those terms are about and what they mean.

      •  The Illuminati (none)
        Do we need a diary on the historical Illuminati? I love conspiracy and secret society stuff, and I've come across some reliable information on the historical existence of the Illuminati.

        Far more interesting that the Bavarian organization that was quickly repressed by the Bavarian government is that the organization was taken seriously by governments in Europe and the brand new American government. Both Jefferson and Adams discussed the Illuminati in various letters. There was fear that the French Revolution was just the most visible and successful result of the plotting of the Illuminati or a similar sinister organization.

        Please don't ban me. I like it here.

        America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

        by Tony Seybert on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:00:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  forget about illuminati (none)
          its these Rosicrutian bastards we gotta worry about

          I still don't know what a Rosicutian is, but it sounds pretty painful, and yes, that's bad

          just when I though MY tinfoil was getting old, some new villians pop up

  •  Don't ban recommenders? (4.00)
    I don't agree with the kooky posts but I wouldn't swear to not ever recommending one because 1) I saw something non-kooky in it or 2) I just hit the wrong button (we all do that, don't we?)  I'd prefer you just ban the posters for the time being.  I almost never see such diaries in the recommend list, so the problem is them getting posted, not them getting recommended.

    Related to this, there's a kookiness problem on the web about some of these issues.  I was looking around for stuff to debunk the WTC7 business and you can't find it for all the conspiracy posts.  With all the cross-recommends the sites with real information just disappear.  It took over half an hour to find links to FEMA and Popular Mechanics where there's real information.

    •  I think it's a matter of (4.00)
      the usual suspect of recommenders. Not the person who shows up to recommend the odd diary, but a core of folks who regularly recommend the crazies.

      lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

      by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:21:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope so (4.00)
        because yesterday there was the diary on Iraq terrorism that really criticized the dKos community for giving such play to the London bombings when people die in bombings in Iraq every day...  I thought the accusation was way out of line and posted a comment of all the high-impact diaries from the previous two days on the subject of Iraq.

        I couldn't quite believe that it got recommended, so when I went to hit "Who's recommended this diary" I accidentally clicked "Recommend".  Duh.  I realized it had happened right away and unrecommended it - but it seems wrong to ban someone who recommended a diary that Kos deemed "bad", you know?

        The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

        by RenaRF on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:32:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I seriously doubt (4.00)
          that he'd ban folks without taking into account their posting and rating history. I trust him to not act against the good faith posters here.

          lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

          by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:37:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  this is a weak appeal to authority (3.00)
            rather than a respect for due process, and reminds me of those Bush supporters who assume Bush has their best interests at heart.

            Is it too much to ask that there be at least some guidelines for how such a decision occurs, rather than just having unpopular diraies scrubbed by act of fiat?

            •  Ok, I'm no better than a Bush supporter? (none)
              That's a bit extreme, don't you think?

              There's been room for dissent here--sometimes less so than others. The system has worked for people who come to this place in good faith. I question whether these people were acting in good faith at the site, and have been wondering about that for quite a while.

              I'll agree that some more transparency in this process might have been in order. Mabye a "knock this shit off" post or two from Markos would have done the trick. But this works for me. Sorry.

              lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

              by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:50:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  here's the guidelines dude (none)
              If Armando or another front pager finds your diary offensive, it is subject to removal

              KOS appointed certain hard working Kossacks to be the gatekeepers, and even if you don't always agree with the gatekeeper personally, you should support his or her efforts on your behalf

              so stop bitching about Armondo removing offensive material

              If you don't like it, do the work to become a front pager yourself

    •  How (none)
      do you recommend a diary?

      Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

      by dpc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:28:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  by clicking (none)
        On the right hand side of the page, above most of the comments, there is a button marked 'recommend'. Click on it and you recommend the diary, increasing the chance that it will reach the list of recommneded diaries on the front page.
  •  thanks (none)
    i've had enough of people pulling ideas out of their asses, insisting they're true with a complete lack of evidence. the level of discourse had sunk to the point i was considering leaving the site -- i simply felt BAD when I was here, like many of the people on my own side were almost as bad (or as bad) as on the other side.

    "All institutions have in the long run to live by the nature of things, and not by childish pretendings." - George Bernard Shaw

    by gracchus on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:02:07 AM PDT

    •  What?? (none)
      Clearly, the London bombings were perpetrated by the subway and bus security industry.  My irrefutable evidence is that they had the most to gain from the attacks.  Therefore, it must be true.

      P.S.  Snark, Kos, this is snark! (just makin' sure).

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
      --M.L. King, Jr.

      by MasonLee on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:07:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm going to blame the Finns. (4.00)
        The Finns never get blamed for anything, and I think it's their turn. Okay, well Stalin blamed the Finns, but he's been dead for 50 years.

        "All institutions have in the long run to live by the nature of things, and not by childish pretendings." - George Bernard Shaw

        by gracchus on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:11:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In that case, (none)
          in the words of Monty Python's Spamalot, "Dik Od Triaanenen Fol (Finns Ain't What They Used to Be)."

          Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
          --M.L. King, Jr.

          by MasonLee on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:14:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My uncle was bitten by a moose once. (4.00)
            It turned sceptic.

            "All institutions have in the long run to live by the nature of things, and not by childish pretendings." - George Bernard Shaw

            by gracchus on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:19:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If that's what it takes to turn people into (4.00)
              skeptics, we need a lot more moose around here.

              Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
              --M.L. King, Jr.

              by MasonLee on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:21:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes, moosebites cause rationalism (4.00)
                it's infectious.

                people have to remember that just because a theory is plausible doesn't mean it's true. proposing a theory isn't the same as proving it. and the simplest explanation is most often true (occam's razor) if a theory is so complicated it takes a 1,000 words to explain, you're already on thin ice.

                "All institutions have in the long run to live by the nature of things, and not by childish pretendings." - George Bernard Shaw

                by gracchus on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:23:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  My Wife (none)
              is Finn - and she bites! Kiittos

              Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

              by dpc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:42:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Blaming the Finns (4.00)
          Actually, IIRC, in one of the Horatio Hornblower books (Commodore Hornblower, I believe), I remember reading that no one wanted a Finn on board their ship because it was considered incredible bad luck.

          Oh, here it is -- allows seaching inside books:

          [H]e had completely left out of account the superstition that prevailed about Finns at sea. In a sailor's mind every Finn was a warlock who could conjure up storms by lifting his finger [...].
  •  The Rump Kos n/t (4.00)

    "The only we have to fear is fear itself." F.D.R.

    by Aaron D Ward on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:02:28 AM PDT

  •  this smacks of kneejerk fascism (3.57)
    You have banned people for their opinions because they are "embarassing"? Embarassing to whom, to them or to you? Should not progressives like yourself practice what you preach, by way of tolerance, and allow the open-ended nature of a forum like this (an open-ended nature that would seem to be one of its core ideals) to be its own best protection for ideas that are not popular or ready-made or even grounded in reality? Does not democracy itself allow for, and encourage, all stripes and all views--and base itself on the notion that the people can best choose among themselves what they want to read, write, or criticize in the posts and threads? Is dailykos really only a fiefdom, where certain opinions will be expunged and weeded out not by a process of open-ended discusssion in which the standards of authorship are maintained BY THE COMMUNITY, but by draconian fiat of the diary police?

    What you call "the fraudster mess" was enough to convince a sitting congressman (John Conyers, who posts here regularly) to hold a Congressional Forum to discuss the anomolies (and there WERE anomolies, to put it in diplomatic terms) of last year's election?

    What you are doing here is a slippery slope, and makes me think this forum is far less democratic and open-ended than it proports to be.    

    •  what if they weren't playing in good faith? (4.00)
      What if a large number of them were really trolls trying to disrupt the community?

      Bloggin Blagojevich's Blunders: do you want to see Roddy B challenged in the Dem Primary?

      by Carl Nyberg on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:10:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is an interesting question (none)
        the one below that is.

        Are these mostly people with user Ids in the 40 or 50 thousands?

        There were like 2 or 3 trolls yesterday alone who had ids in the mid 50,000s, and it was clear they only wanted to cause trouble.

        Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:11:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Which is what I've suspected (4.00)
        for quite a while.

        lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

        by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:19:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think there is a deeper question here (4.00)
        about the nature of this website: is it an open-ended forum that practices tolerance and that encourages debate, or is it merely a place with prefabricated ideas and views preach to the choir?

        I actually thought some of the tinfoil diraies yesterday were a sign of health, not b/c I agreed with them (I did not) but b/c in today's world I believe we should foster a climate of muckracking and speculative stuff, even if it's uncomfortable. I believe the answer is more inclusiveness, not less. That way the tinfoilers are taught to hold their own and the debunkers might learn a thing or two. But purging such things is inherently antidemocratic.

        The issue of trolls is different. But I find it hard to believe that masses of trolls would come here and create tinfoil (illegitimate, semi-legitimate or wacko) diaries just so dkos could look bad.  

        •  radical ideas vs. disrupting community (none)
          I agree that floating radical ideas should be allowed without limit.

          However, a minority of people behaving badly can disrupt the diary system for everybody.

          Flooding the diary system with redundant diaries is cause for banning (or suspension) IMO.

          Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

          by Carl Nyberg on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:28:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  redundancy (none)
            often occurs on all types of subjects however, and georgia10 recently wrote a diary asking diarist to spend more time thinking about whether or not what they write deserves an entire diary or just a post and a link.

            But that's an issue that does not apply solely to the so-called tinfoil diaries: it applies to diaries across all issues and topics.

            •  Scoop relies on individual self-restraint (none)
              And I expect there's been much thinking put into how to improve Scoop on this front.

              The system works, but it relies on some individual judgment.

              The most passionate people let their feelings trump judgment more often than others.

              Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

              by Carl Nyberg on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:19:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The content of the diaries and the number (4.00)
          It was the same stuff over and over and over again.  It became pointless to engage in conversation.  If conversation is not possible, why have a diary.  A number of them were tinfoilers who refused to hold their own.

          And it was the sort of stuff that the rightwing could point back to as evidence that dKos was a nest of traitors.  That seemed to me yesterday to point to its origin as trolls, although I could be wrong.  Generally I would agree with your assertion that large numbers of trolls would show up.  But yesterday was different; it was the perfect moment to plant disinformation to slander this community.

          And it is not anti-democratic.  Democracy is not license; democracy is the expression of the will of the people.  It has to do with consensus.  It is Markos's site.  He tries his best to state the consensus.  In this case, I think he is correct.  The consensus of people on this site is that accusing a President and a Prime Minister of killing their own people, without evidence and without logic is not appropriate on the day on which 40 people were killed.

          The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

          by TarheelDem on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:48:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm all for muckraking, but (4.00)
          a muckraker first rakes up evidence (the muck), before spreading it across the front page.  Conspiracy theorists and other unbalanced sorts spew every potential thought, however, illogical, and put them out there without any proof.

          If you, or anyone else, goes out and does some serious investigative journalism, as did Georgia10 and Susan G in earlier days, believe me, the reception would be very positive.  But the evidence has to be there before claims are made, or it's seriously counter-productive.  The boy who cried wolf, and all that.

          "Don't want to be an American idiot..." -- Green Day

          by Black Maned Pensator on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:32:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Our biggest weakness (none)
         The fact is a single person could easily generate a large number of seperate accounts and then game then system with them. Give me a week or two and I guarantee you I could get a recommended diary up explaining how George W. Bush is actually a gentically engineered al Qaeda operative grown in an underground vat in Dubai in the year 2018 and then sent back in time to murder his parents (who are actually Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden).  

         I'm not saying we should take away open registration, but it's a great open security hole that only takes a little time and dedication to exploit. I have no doubt there are trolls around here with armies of dummy accounts. I'd guess that Kos has purged a large number of them now but they will grow back, which is why we need a better solution than manually purging people.

      •  I've suspected that some people (4.00)
        were trolling here before, with their embarrassing disdain for our troops, for loyalty to one's compatriots, and even appalling contempt for the kind of fighting spirit that this nation was literally forged out of... As it turns out, they weren't trolling; they really think and feel that way. And many of those people are community favorites.

        So there you have it. One man's umbrage is another man's solace. Such is life outside the hive mind.

        I could go on for hours about some of the things I find embarrassing about this community and some of its members from time to time. I think we all could. I'm pretty sure we'd each be mentioned at some point in the fray.

        Sooner or later we're all bound to hold opinions or ideas that the community can't or won't support. Some of them may be real stinkers and some of them will just be ahead of this community's time. That's why trying to censor members that put their ideas out there for challenge, ridicule or appreciation (or encourage them censor themselves) is ultimately unproductive. It sterilizes the community's imagination and ability of its members to deftly engage controversy.

        But, hey, it's not my call.

        I don't think this smacks of fascism, however. I think it more closely resembles hypocrisy. But guess what? "Free speech for me but not for thee," is a tough rule to argue with in somebody else's house.

    •  There are already informal community standards... (4.00)
      ...perhaps it's time to define those standards more rigidly so they can be fairly policed without any cries of "Subjective!" or "Suppression!"
      Some other more and less relevant suggestions: a ratings system for diaries so persistent wolf-cryers, news-breakers and airspace-fillers get banned by the community? Admittedly it would need safeguards against overly harsh weeding of the garden.
      Longer time periods for recommends so dKos can have "sleeper hits"
      Community elections for front pagers someday in the future...
      Just suggestions, I'm not saying that we guests on this excellent site have rights to these things. Just throwing balls in the air to see where they land, as braindead management-consultant types might say.

      Do you make me sick, or was I just force-fed? - Elvis Costello

      by Doctor Devlin on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:26:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fascism (none)
      Can we restict the use of the word "Fascism" to situations where actual "Fascism" is at work?

      Such as a powerful government asking for unprecedented powers to invade the privacy of its citizend? The same government using and justifiying torure? The same governemnt using the media to intimidate dissenters and propagandizing most of the media? (So on and etc.)

      Kos doesn't want crazy people on his site.

      I don't necessarily agree with him, but it's not Fascism by ANY strained and tortured misuse of the word. If we keep using the word "Fascism" in such a context, we will have to find a new word to describe situations similar to the old defifnition of "Fascism," you know, the kind where Fascism actually takes place.

      Ein Volk! Eine Partei! Eine Kirche! Ein Fuehrer!

      Heil Bush!

      America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

      by Tony Seybert on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:13:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well, there is this one difference (none)
      Notice they the diaries and posters didn't just disappear in the dead of night, with no one the wiser.

      He we are all openly discussing it, because the actions were taken openly. Hell, Armando put up a diary yesterday just beggin' for us to bring it on (the Deletion Debate).

      That just doesn't smell like fascism to me.

    •  Uncalled for: (4.00)
      Calling someone a Bush supporter. If you want me to give you credibility, then you need to practice what you preach and not compare Kos' defenders to Bush supporters.

      This is Kos' site; we are his guests. Therefore, he makes the rules here. One of his rules is that we base our diaries on fact, not conspiracy theories; OR, if a theory is unproven, then we do the work to prove it.

      If we don't have rules here, we have chaos. That is why tribalism can lead to non-stop war like in Afghanistan, for instance.

      There's nothing wrong with developing a theory to fit the facts. But the next step is to do the work and try to prove your theory. That is what conspiracy theorists frequently don't want to do: They complain that people don't listen to them, when the fact is that they don't want to do the work necessary to give themselves credibility.

      If we are not a credible site, then it doesn't matter what kind of freedom we allow here; people will just laugh at us.

      You may argue that the community would do a better job of policing bad theories than Kos. But you flip-flop and complain about "diary police." So, how can we hold people accountable for what they write when they just scream, "DIARY POLICE!!"

      If you want people to do an effective job of holding other community members accountable, you need to knock off the use of that phrase, because it forecloses meaningful discussion about the credibility of the piece in question.

      If you don't want censorship here, you have to practice what you preach. That means that if I see a piece that I think is not credible, or poorly written, I have every right to complain about it. You are being the diary police when you use that phrase, because you are using it to foreclose discussion about community standards.

      •  Let people laugh (4.00)
        I'm after the truth.

        I've got a deal for you: I'll knock off the phrase "diary police" if you knock off the phrase "conspiracy theory."

        In the discourse beyond the confines of daily kos, the latter phrase has done more to damage people's inqisitiveness about what their government is up to than it has done any good.

        It has become a provincial catch-all phrase to discourage people from thinking outside the box about things like 9/11.

    •  Language SUV (4.00)
      Blah blah fascism blah blah draconian fiat blah blah diary police.

      Hey, save some hyperbole for the rest of us, you glutton!  Did you know there's a tax deduction for buying a more hyperbole-efficient hybrid keyboard?

      •  Brilliant (none)
        That comment is getting bookmarked for future reference.
      •  I used these admidetly cliche words (none)
        to make it as clear as possible how much the mass deleting of diaries and diarists not held to be palatable is in fact counter to the very things most of us here are arguing to protect in the larger realm of politics. I think the reasons given for this mass deletion were entirely unconvincing, and that the act was authoritarian in a way that is in fact troublesome. But here's my larger beef: the phrase "conspiracy theory" has exhausted any usefulness it once had. Before this administration, I also patted myself on the back for pooh-poohing "conspiracy theories," but I now I see their intrinsic value: they create a means whereby people begin to question what the mainstream media and the government feed them. Even when I disagree with them, and I often do, I feel the spirit of their extreme doubt-the-official-line can be a healthy antidote to the usual "MSM or politcal talking head sums up complex event in banal soundbyte."

        Where others see only an exasperatingly bunch of paranoiacs, I see the healthy beginnings of critical thinking. As I've said before, the broad-brush rejection outright of all "conspiracists" (no matter the subject) is as troubling (perhaps even more so) than the outright acceptance of every half-baked idea. The reality is we need more people willing to think critically, to be less dismissive, and to allow even crackpots airtime.  

        •  Sorry... (none)
          Sorry, but the people spreading these sorts of conspiaracy theories are exactly the people who ARE NOT engaging in critical thought.  Those with any sort of real critical thinking skills would discard them out-of-hand.
    •  This isn't facism (none)
      Please don't belittle that word.  If Kos gets in cahhoots with the government or big corps and starts hauling people he disagees with off to labor camps then you can call it facism.  This is editorial policy for a private site.  If you disagree, explain how it's harmful to our goals and, even better, discuss some examples.
      •  no it's fascistic (none)
        b/c it seeks to control the flow of information here according to a standard that is in fact trickier than it first appears. I have thought long and hard about what constitutes a "conspiracy theory," and the answer is it's very much in the eye of the beholder. Some people, no matter how much evidence, just will not even entertain an idea unless it's been validated in the mainstream press (not just sourced there, but spelled out).

        This is a less pedantic issue than it sounds, since the Bush administration has orchestrated so much dizzying disinformation: they are dissemblers, par excellence.

        I feel that in the tension between dkos as an open-ended forum, and dkos as a PR gloss for the Democratic party, the former is far more fruitful.  

    •  I'm a moderate ... (none)
      ... and I find the extreme fringes of both the left and the right equally odious.  I don't want to listen to fact-free ravings, regardless of their underlying ideologies.

      I've a friend who's a far-right wingnut.  I've known him about 20 years; he's a fixture in my life ... even though we violently disagree on most things.

      But on more than a couple of occasions, I've thrown this old friend out of my house for some horrendously offensive statement or another.  There're certain things I just refuse to listen to because they're based in hate and devoid of logic.

      We remain tight, even after all of that.  We argue as only old friends can about many, many things.  I really enjoy the adversarial nature of our discussions most of the time.  But there comes a point when it's "Keith, you know I don't allow that shit here.  Get the fuck out."

      I am behind kos on this.  If the banned come back chastened and contribute good stuff, great.  We want more reality-based opinion and commentary here.

      But if they come back peddling the same old unproductive, poisonous bullshit, boot 'em again.  And keep doing it until they learn something or give up.

      But Armando. Sweetie. Cabana Boy. Bubelah.  You gotta take it down a thousand.  You're gonna give yourself ulcers, man.

      •  Interesting about your friend... (none)
        I have a friend I have known for about 20 years as well.  She voted for Clinton twice and for Bush twice.  Her reasons for voting for Bush was something to the effect of he is such a respectable and morally good person.  I have since debunked this idea for her.  It has only been recently though....seems as if everything going on in the world and the country have started waking people up and she is asking A LOT of questions.  My point is, around March we had a conversation about the war in Iraq and supporting the president.  I presented what I thought was ample proof of the folly of our going into Iraq instead of wholeheartedly going after OBL in Afghanistan.  For some reason she slipped into total wingnuttery and told me that I was not patriotic and borderline treasonous because of my views.  I was outraged at her comments and the flippant way they came out.  I know one of her brothers listens to Rush, I knew then that she was spouting the crap that he was fed.  I got up, walked over to her and told her she would have to leave my house.  As she was leaving I told her that statements like hers have no place in any discourse we may have, and that I was totally offended.  At first she reacted angrily.  As she walked out the door she said we need to talk more.  I told her not today.  The next two days she tried to reach me by phone and e-mail.  All of the messages were of apologies and remorse because she knew she crossed the line.  I received a very eloquent e-mail from her about patriotism a few days later.  She researched Patriotism.  She came to believe as a result of her research that dissent at times is the highest form of patriotism.  Since then she has been paying attention to a lot of things and has been speaking her mind to members of her family who listen to the crap on wingnuttery radio.  She is a great friend and I am glad she came around.  Thanks for your comment bustacap, I agree with all you say.

        "They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." - G.W. Bush; 11/2/00

        by pilotweed on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 01:24:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How many times have people (myself included) been (none)
      ...shouted at that we are engaging in "censorship" when we argue that someone's bullshit crack-pot theory is just that?

      Somehow it is I can say whatever bullshit I want, but if someone calls my bullshit bullshit.. that should NOT be allowed?

      Talk about bullshit.

      All that said,. this is Kos' house.. and sorry, it is not a public square, but Kos' bandwidth and online domicile (albiet a very open and welcoming one by and large). Don't like it? Build your own soapbox in the town-square and good luck to ya.

      This is not "facism" no matter how you slice it (might want to look that word up BTW)... nor is this place a democracy (never has been never will be).

      It is a very open-house place that Kos is kind enough to have offered us the use of for free. That is a small slice of the relaity based world we live in.


      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:00:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ...Banning RECOMMENDERS ? (4.00)
         I actually wonder. If some guy insists that Israel blew up the World Trade Center, and then London, and is also working with aliens from War of the Worlds...and diaries this REPEATEDLY, that's one thing. Banning is understandable. (Though a friendly e-mail warning to the person first might not hurt either)
         But what are your criteria for banning people who just hit the recommend button on one of those diaries? That might have a chilling effect on free speech.....

         Also: friendly note, you may not want to call it a "purge". With all the star icons and stuff, the new diary design looks a little like "Comrade Stalin" anyway... :D

    •  asdf (4.00)
      With so many thousands of users a day, and stuff going up at an ever faster rate, I doubt he has time to micromanage who has been warned and who is on their 2nd or 3rd warning...who needs banned, etc etc...

      Just not feasiable unless he doesn't mind losing his sanity.

  •  How About Suspension Not Purge?? (4.00)
  •  I think Kos... (4.00)
    ... is behind the bombings. I've got proof too.

    "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

    by Andrew C White on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:07:48 AM PDT

  •  Trolls? Suspend only? (none)
    How 'bout considering it suspensions instead of outright bans?

    I'm curious about the spread of user IDs. Were these mostly new people?

    Or was it pretty evenly distributed user ID #s?

    Do you suspect a significant number were trolls trying to egg on the more suspicious members of the community?

    Bloggin Blagojevich's Blunders: do you want to see Roddy B challenged in the Dem Primary?

    by Carl Nyberg on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:07:49 AM PDT

    •  UID#s (4.00)
      Heh, I actually did a quick analysis of the thread that likely spawned this action. The pro-tinfoil folks averaged uid#'s of around 36500, whereas the neutral folks averaged 26500. The anti-tinfoil folks -- me included here -- averaged around 23000. These were fraudster-esque statistical analyses, mind you, but it's a trend I've seen a lot. There's no absolutes at play, but most of the conspiracy pushers have uid#'s of 34000 and above.
    •  Natural response - or not (none)
       I suspect that when there are unresolved situations such as the Plame affair, DSM and several ongoing high level investigations (AIPAC, Coingate, etc.} which intersect with real world events, then the general community attempts to integrate the unknowns into a neat and explanative order. That, of course, seldom happens, but it does pull in more speculative panoramas such as conspiracy theories.

        As those real situations are resolved in the real world (indictments, trials, etc.), those speculations move back into the background. In other words, there is an ebb and flow to this, a chaos/order function. I think this it is pretty natural for people to speculate.

       I've covered fatality wrecks where virtually every single eyewitness was wrong about what occurred. Each has a little piece right, but none had the overall sequence but that didn't even stop them from talking it up. That's always very sobering. So, grounding the speculation is probably sound policy: let the story grow from the known facts, with new information, not vice versa. Plus, once you get into the speculation/integration game, you lose the political grounding so necessary to discussion.

        I'm curious about the trolls, too, or whether a few with theories got enough room to expound with the certain conjunction of events or whether there were attempts to hijack the content.  

  •  did I make the cut?? (none)
    Kos, if you ban people from posting....the terrosists win..
    Juuuust kidding... I am very new here and seem to be in the less-than-junior-varsity-newbie-camp.  I will try to kep my feet on the ground, my eyes on the starts and my hands out of my pants (because thats disgusting).
    best Site EVER...


  •  smart move (none)
    Democrats are too quick to suffer fools gladly.  
  •  hey (none)
    I don't see anything from Armondo, did he survive the purge?
  •  My main issue (4.00)
    with this, kos, is changing the rules on us and banning people with no warning -- especially the "fellow traveller" rule of banning those who've recommended some retroactively-bannable diaries.  I think I recommended a couple of diaries that you or someone else might now define as "conspiracy based" -- I guess I wasn't caught up in the purge, however, which means either (1) my memory's not that good about what I recommended, (2) you weren't that thorough in purging people, or (3) what I recommended didn't make the hit list.

    Was some kind of "cut it out or you'll be banned" warning posted that I missed?  And if not, why not post the warning first?  You have every right to expect people on your blog to adhere to certain standards of behavior.  But I think part of that "social contract" involves transparency about those standards.  And I have a problem with ex post facto bannings.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:13:25 AM PDT

  •  And thus... (4.00)
    ...was created the DKos spinoff blog, "The Big Tinfoil Tent."

    Long time coming.  I like sending people to this site to learn 'em right, but I hesitate when there's so much batshittery flying around.  Good move.

    "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

    by The Termite on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:15:25 AM PDT

  •  I like the juxtaposition (4.00)
    of this diary, banning conspiracists, right under Congressman Conyer's recommended diary, the title of which, "Fixing the Facts..." might at first glance sound like another conspiracy diary.

    I never felt so much alike alike alike alike

    by bopes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:15:26 AM PDT

  •  Thank God.... (none)
    "bizarre, off-the-wall, unsupported and frankly embarassing" sums it up perfectly...
  •  Thought to remember... (none)
    People need to remember that this is "private property" and that KOS can do whatever he damn well pleases :)

    I for one support these actions, and am greatful he maintains this site.  Don't let it become a FR or even DU for that matter!

  •  Brief word from a skeptic (4.00)
    There were people who were convinced immediately that Israel carried out the attack, which I agree is unfounded. But thankfully you haven't also banned those think the reporting of yesterday's events is awash with bullshit, else I wouldn't be here. The government lies, all the time. The media lie, all the time. It's surprising to see many of you think that Bush and Blair have respect for human life and human rights. That's not reality-based.
  •  Giving them too much credit (4.00)
    Any time you have a conspiracy theory, you take away from the real threat AQ poses. They really hate America and the West, they really want to kill people. Osama said so on freaking TV to an American reporter.

    I'll take him at his word.

    •  OT (none)
      Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your news blog Mr. Gilliard.  Thank you.

      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 1700+ dead Americans, 100,000+ dead Iraqis, all on your head. WWJS?

      by Miss Blue on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:09:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (none)
    I was embarassed of being a liberal when reading several of those posts yesterday.  If anything, all those posts made me more moderate than I was by a smidgen.
  •  is the person banned who put up the diary about (4.00)
    how weird the changing Associated Press reports were re: whether Netanyahu was warned or not by the Brits a few minutes before the bombs went off?

    Was that enough to make the diarist -- and those who recommended the diary -- a "conspiracy theorist"?

    I'm assuming not, but seriously, wasn't it hard to draw the line when you were going down the banning list? Did you really ban ALL those who recommended what you decided were "conspiracy theory" diaries, even if the posters had been around for a while, and added value to this community?

    well, I'm disappointed, and kind of sick about this, that's my 2 cents, but considering that the more mainstream this place gets, the less addicting it is for me -- why not just read the NY Times, you know? -- so it's probably for the best.

    does anybody else still here remember the diaries that used to be posted about how much the diarists LOVED Daily Kos -- they loved their fellow Kossacks so much, they just had to post diaries about it! Love, love, love -- everybody loved everybody around here back then, or almost everybody -- even the more marginal "crazy" voices were regarded as part of the community with perhaps a valuable point of view. oh well.

    Lots more "Fuck Yous" around here now than "I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

    •  This is a bullshit comment (4.00)
      You start with a good point and end on a ridculous one.

      I agree with you that the bannings were extreme and I would not have done it.

      But you end by acting as if FOCUSING on the REALITY, wich is plenty bad don't you think, makes you the NYTimes.

      That is just plain crap.

      I don't know how long you have been here, but you ast as if dkos was a conspiracy place forever. That is FALSE. It was ALWAYS a serous place, with serious people having serious political discussions.

      When I came in September 2003, the discussions were intimidating and high end. The membership uniformly well informed. Conspriacists were laughed out of the place.

      People LURKED for months before jumping in. It was a tough arena intellectually.

      Now there is no more community moderation, probably because of the size, more likely, as I have asserted, because TUs did not do their job here.

      markos is stepping in, with too heavy a hand in my opinion, because, as somene notes, self policing has failed.

      It may be that that needs looking into, but there was a problem here on this. I disagree with Markos' remedy, but please don't deny the problem.

      And please don't use the redherring of "mainstreamng" - that is false. There was more reality here when dkos was LESS mainstream.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:37:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you actually read the comment? (none)
        You seem to be completely focused on the one mention of the NY Times that you missed pretty much everything else that jennifer had to say.  You quote her as asking if dkos was always a conspiracy place, but I can't see anything in her post remotely resembling that question.  If anything, she agrees with you that DKos used to be a much different place where there was more love for the community as a whole.  

        I also think you are creating the redherring that mainstream has something to do with reality.  As I read her comment, the more mainstream this site becomes, the less new and interesting news is available exclusively on this site.  This may or may not be true, but it has nothing to do with how reality based the commentary is.

        Addison - you make a great point below about the pre/post election divide.  

        •  More closely than you apparently (none)
          . . . well, I'm disappointed, and kind of sick about this, that's my 2 cents, but considering that the more mainstream this place gets, the less addicting it is for me -- why not just read the NY Times, you know? -- so it's probably for the best.

          does anybody else still here remember the diaries that used to be posted about how much the diarists LOVED Daily Kos -- they loved their fellow Kossacks so much, they just had to post diaries about it! Love, love, love -- everybody loved everybody around here back then, or almost everybody -- even the more marginal "crazy" voices were regarded as part of the community with perhaps a valuable point of view. oh well.

          Lots more "Fuck Yous" around here now than "I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

          The bolded text, bolded by me, is exactly my point and for you to ignore that is a problem with YOUR reading not mine.

          BTW, you attacked me so don't tell me how mean I am being by exposing your utter lack of close reading of the comment.

          The NYTimes crack is clearly intended to be denigrating.

          The "love" of crackpots we use to have is clearly arguing that we never had aproblem with them before.

          Your reply to me is completely woirng and part of the problem - people don't read things.

          This is what happened yesterday with fooks pretending the diary I deleted did not accuse Page of racism.

          Only a simpleton or someone who did not truly read the comment could have thoguht that.

          Yours is another example.  

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:15:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry - you are full of crap (none)
            I completely disagree with your interpretation of the things that you bolded.  The "more marginal crazy voices" that jennifer references are a far cry from the last batch of conspiracy theorists.  But even if I acknowledge that they mean the same thing, your comments still make no sense.  The bolded phrase from jennifer's post clearly indicates that jennifer was around in the good old days to see how such marginal voices were treated.  Yet in your original comment you charge jennifer with asking "if dkos was a conspiracy place forever".  Seems like you are the one with reading comprehension problems, not me.

            As for the NY Times bit, it is your opinion that it was clearly meant to be denigrating.  But I, and others, did not see it that way.  I share the feeling that as this site gets more mainstream, there is less uniqueness that separates it from the MSM.  My biggest problem is that in cases like this, you assume that your interpretation of what someone else meant was 100% correct.  You don't seem willing to consider that the author might have had a different intent.

          •  you might add (none)
            that mainstream democrats are tired, not just of losing, but of the ramifications of losing on things we love: America, the world, the environment, our communities and families. So when we look around and find out it is a minority of kooks who have driven away other mainstream americans from the once hegemonic democratic party, you're damned right we're pissed. this is serious business, literally life and death, war and peace, sickness and health.
      •  As a sidenote: there are high-end and educated (4.00)
        "tinfoilers" too. Gore Vidal thinks the election was stolen. Not all "conspiracy" is X-Files.

        The DSM is but one piece of evidence that conspiracies happen.

        It's just as illogical to dismiss all "conspiracies" out of hand as it is to accept them all without thinking.

        There can be real value to alternative histories, especially when one sees how incredibly dishonest and hypocritical our current administration is.

        Given the choice between lots of open speculation and discussion and debate, some of it clearly harebrained, and a debate driven simply by the desire not to offend or be provocative, I will always choose the former.

      •  Raising the level of discourse (4.00)
        I don't care who you are or how long you have been here, calling someone's comment bullshit -- no matter how true -- does not help raise the level of discourse around here.  That is all I have to say on the subject.    

        When you are going thru hell, keep going! Winston Churchill

        by flo58 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:21:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Guess what? (none)
          You are entitled to your opinion.

          What always strikes me about folks like you is instead of focusing on the substance of the commnet, you let your self get distracted with the word bullshit.

          Try this experiment - replace bullshit with "wildly off the mark" - now read my comment.

          To be so hug up on the word bullshit exhibits a prudishness that I have no patience for.

          THIS discussion on profanity is old and stale.

          Your obsession with it does not raise the level of discourse. It is petty and childish and nonproductive.

          That is all I have to say on the subject.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:26:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Funny (none)
            As I was reading, the comment "to be so hug up" caught my eye.

            You know, Freudian slips and all--especially with posters noting the lack of love around here lately.

          •  Real world and virtual worlds do intersect though (4.00)
            Armando, I heard you being quoted on the air yesterday by Sam Seder when he was subbing for Randi Rhodes. (I was calling in to agree wholeheartedly, BTW, until it occurred to me that saying it was Histopresto on the line seemed a little weird.)

            But here's the thing- anybody who liked what they heard on the air and who came to this "prominent blog" yesterday to see what else you said would have quickly seen a series of your patented fuck-you remarks to other commenters in that "deletion" thread. Is that really how you wanted yourself (and by association this site) to be perceived?  Your very cogent points on other subjects can easily get lost in the fuck-you chatter. We give you a certain amount of leeway because we know your patter-  new people coming in from outside this blog won't.

            Reality is entering into the blogosphere and we have to be acutely aware how easy it is to lose a reputation, one that has been hard for us to collectively earn. Kos is cleaning virtual house, knowing that people who matter to us are coming in to visit more often now. Your voice has value here, clearly, given your FP status and the quality of the long FP posts you make. Do you really need to continue with this kind of thoughtless crap through the diaries?

          •  Histpresto said it well. (4.00)
            I will just say ditto to his comment.  

            As for me, I really don't see how it helps the discussion to diss commenters.  You made a good point to the comment that you called bullshit above.  

            I could say your response to me was bullshit -- to coin a phrase -- but I won't.  My comment hasn't got a goddamn thing to do with swearing.  I really don't care -- give a fuck? -- what words you use.  It is the tone that matters to me.  I have read enough on this website to know that you have a lot to say and a lot -- maybe most -- of it is good.  But I also have read comments from you complaining about the tone of the discourse.  Well, say what you will -- as my grandmother used to say -- courtesy begins at home.  

            For example, your comment talks about "folks like you."  Have we met?  I suspect you know very little about me.  I may be "petty" and "childish" and "non-productive" for all you know but I won't take your critique personally until I know that you know me better.  Maybe a year from now, if we have more chances to "converse" I will consider it.

            I have many obsessions -- policing profanity is not one of them.  I do tend to call things as I see them though.  So sue me.  

            When you are going thru hell, keep going! Winston Churchill

            by flo58 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:04:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Armando, in this comment you say: (none)
        "you ast as if dkos was a conspiracy place forever" and in the comment to MattR below you suggest, "The "love" of crackpots we use to have is clearly arguing that we never had a problem with them before."

        I don't think my comment said either of those things, and I don't think it could have said both.

        I agree with your description of how dKos used to be. I've been around since legacy dKos -- from DFA blog, maybe end of the year 2003? I'm certainly not denying that discourse here isn't at as high a level as much of it was before -- although personally, I find the sheer number of the diaries, so many of them trumpeting mainstream news headlines over and over again, to be more of a problem than "the conspiracists."

        But anyway, those good old days are over. An invitation-only diary system wouldn't bring them back; in my opinion, banning certain topics / posters won't bring them back either.

        and re: the NY Times, there may have been a faint hint of an ironic "dig" (more of an appreciation of how far dKos has come, really, when comparing it to the Times could be considered an insult), but here's my main point: the NY Times is a newspaper, a great one, despite justified criticism. Newspapers "filter reality" -- they judge what news is "fit to print" -- that phrase just popped into my mind when I was thinking about how Kos, as editor, as he has the right to do, has decided that certain topics aren't "fit to post."

        for me, the less Daily Kos includes posts from those with viewpoints outside dKos-accepted "reality," the more like the NY Times it becomes -- that's a good thing in many ways -- more influential, more serious and taken more seriously -- more likely to influence the Democratic Party, and D.C. insiders.  but for me, there's a certain loss.

        good luck anyway with your efforts to try to "fix" the site. I see Kos has added an update to his post, and that sounds good to me.

      •  Armando (4.00)
        I'm not even going to get into the whole other set of issues I have with you, because it's not productive and it won't get me anywhere...


        You throw around the word "bullshit" like it's going out of style, and I wish you'd cut it out. Going into someone's diary and posting the word "Bullshit" and then leaving is not conducive to intelligent discourse, and frankly, makes you look like a child.

        "Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage." --HL Mencken

        by PerfectStormer on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:55:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Too each his own.. (none)
          I (like Armando I suspect)... take the Penn Jillette & Teller approach and have long ago embraced the term and use it like a coma when I encounter what is bullshit.

          I have gone tooth and nail with Armando on numerous occasions, but I have never had truck with hi or others in talking plain language and calling bullshit when they (or I) see it.


          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:18:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No (none)
      No, I don't think it was that diary, though you proceed with your reply as if it was the only possible catalyst. It was the spat of diaries that were sure either Israel or Bush -- or both! -- bombed London without any evidence at all.

      People who came here before the election were optimistic and interested in building up an administration (Democratic as led by Kerry). People who came here after the election were frustrated and interested in tearing down an administration. Generalities, but I increasingly think that pre/post-election split it partially to blame.

      •  "as if it was the only possible (none)
        catalyst"? Addison, my post specifically said, "I'm assuming not" in answer to my own rhetorical question re: did the "A.P. story has changed" diarist get banned?

        Where did you get: "you proceed with your reply as if it was the only possible catalyst." huh?

        (possibly, you're thinking I was referring to a more blatantly "conspiratorial" diary than the one I meant, which was early on, and merely was the first here to report that the story had changed -- Netanyahu and the Brits hadn't even denied yet -- and didn't posit Israeli complicity.)

    •  Yeah (4.00)
      not to be one of those "this site is changing and turning to crap!" people, but it really has been... less addictive... lately.

      I used to value this place a hell of a lot. I'm not sure I can put my finger on exactly what's shifting, community-wise, but it makes me feel a lot less need to come and spend hours reading everything. Which is probably good for me, actually -- definitely better for the garden and my schoolwork.

      And kos himself has made some decisions lately that make me keenly aware of the shifting, too. I understand that the sheer size this thing has reached requires some different tactics on his part, but this (and other actions/comments/so forth recently) is something he simply would not have done, or at least not without ample warning and open discussion, just, say, a year ago.

      I will say that we've always, in my experience (and I was a pre-Scoop lurker), had plenty of "fuck you"ness going around... it just strikes me that it tended to include actual argument more often in the past. That's just an impression, though, and I'm pretty aware of the tendancy we all have to look back to them good ol' days in a pretty unrealistic way.

  •  please don't ban me, but... (4.00)
    I think there's some positive value to such diaries.

    Here's how it works for me:  I consider the current administration to be utterly craven (I'm sure I'm not alone in that).  Thus, when events such as the London bombings occur, my speculations do include some very far-fetched ones because, again, I believe Bush is capable of almost anything.

    I never write on DKos about these speculations, but reading about them--especially reading comments to such diaries--helps me.  Level-headed people weigh in on the discussion, and it helps me down out of my mental tree, so-to-speak.  Giving voice to conspiracy theories usually debunks them, to a large extent.  Having access to a prismatic view of events is why I read this site.  Don't we all assume the worst sometimes?  And isn't it good to speak one's worst fears so that a community of voices can help assuage them?

    But it's your site, Kos.  Your name is on it.  And I understand why you wouldn't want to seem to be endorsing conspiracy theories.

  •  I seem to still be here (4.00)
    I am one of the guilty conspiracists and indeed my diary of yesterday has been expunged.

    Fair enough - I get the message.

    I do hope I am not completely banned however, as I do want to remain a contributing member of this community. I do believe in the issues we raise here and find the discussions around them illuminating.

    with respect,


    "I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Jefferson

    by Michael Alton Gottlieb on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:32:24 AM PDT

    from those who would do us harm.  That's only common sense. It's called survival, and no need to feel guilty for it.

    It's getting pretty smelly...probably because of the good work so many are doing here that is detrimental to those who greatest fear is that the population would wake up.  

    They have the most to lose.

    You must be doing something right!!!


    "Here's your damn fireball, Adella..." Rags

    by rosabw on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:34:39 AM PDT

  •  So you're in on it then! (none)
    I knew it!

    Just kidding--the conspiracy theories were getting very embarrassing, and were detrimental to the both the overall quality of the site and its reputation.

  •  Homespun analogy (4.00)
    I'm one of those "cool" parents.  You know the kind, trust the kids, give them the rules, but allows them free expression (well with the occassional,"Jesus Christ, turn that music down").  

    Yet, because I am so "cool", eventually I found that it was my house that became the gathering place for ALL the kids, including ones that were intrusive (meaning they'd help themselves to things outside of the "boycave" downstairs and cause dmage to the house on one occassion).  They forgot or never acknowledged that this was my house in the first place.

    After subtle hints and even repeating the rules and explaining that certain things don't fly in this house, I had to get all nasty and '86 some of them.  So suddenly....

    Now I'm not so cool to some, because I took my house back.  I suggested to these 19 y/o's that maybe it was time to get their own place if their parents didn't let them do the same thing at their house.  It wasn't my "duty" to be at their beck abd call for every asshole thing they felt they had a "right" to do, in my house.

    Kos has the right to do the same in his "house".

  •  much needed pruning. (none)
    I know it wasn't easy for you Kos but I'm glad you did that.

    It was getting way to freeper in here lately and knowing that there is a possibility of being banned, I hope, will give people pause before posting stupid juvinille bullshit.

    There's someone here (who's name I forget)has a great signature line about the sword of damocles.

    Part of being in an online community is that it is a community and like any other needs to enforce certain standards.

    It's not easy, especially when you want to have an free and open community but that doesn't mean we have to accept every little fringe, tinfoil, frepperesque opinion either.

    Thanks a bunch for letting us know.

    I like the view from the moral highground.

    by DawnG on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:37:35 AM PDT

  •  Hey--go for it. (4.00)
    To those who complain that Kos is stifling free speech, I say that it's his site and he can decide what gets said on here as long as it has his name and he pays the bills.
    Freedom of association is a right under the first amendment every bit as important as freedom of speech.  Those who don't wish to play by the rules of this free forum have every right to form or find another forum where all kinds of batshit crazy ideas can be advanced and discussed.

    Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

    by soonergrunt on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:39:34 AM PDT

  •  Hey Kos, thanks for not banning me... (4.00)
    ...Even though I KNOW that you and the CIA are in cahoots, and listen to me night and day through a tiny radio transistor you implanted in one of my fillings one night when I was asleep.

    Oh, and Howard Dean is really a robot.


  •  Um... (4.00)
    And how exactly does this stop the "banned" users from just creating a new ID?

    Seems this will only stop the lazy lunatics, and not the determined crazies, who are of course much scarier.

    I really know little about this problem, because I rarely stray off the front page.

    And, I've never created a diary, simply because why put the effort into researching and writing something that will disappear into the netherworld of the internet almost instantly, only to be dug up twenty years from now to embarrass me when I am running for office.

    I know this may seem a little aristocratic, but how about creating standards before even allowing diary's to be created?

    Nothing too onerous, but maybe make sure the ID has been here at least a couple of months, and hasn't been getting trolled out of existence (although it seems the people who get trolled are usually those with a minority view point rather than an insane one- probably the difference in arguing with someone you disagree with, while averting your eyes completely from the out and out loon).

    A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

    by JakeC on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:40:48 AM PDT

    •  Technically (none)
      You ban by IP address.

      Of course, most people have static IP addresses and it is very easy to get a new one.  I can force a new one from my home machine in a matter of seconds from the command line.

      But I doubt most posters would bother.  Persistent trolls might, but that is a whole other issue.

      "Hillary Clinton fathered a half-black child with a prostitute in Mississippi. I'll stake my reputation on it." -- Ken Mehlman, RNC Chairman

      by bink on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:49:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  True (none)
      Banning users might discourage those who actually care what Markos or the community thinks, but it's not going to keep the genuine trolls from re-registering. Any real solution has to be targeted at diaries, not users.

      Those who cannot remember the future are condemned to repeat it.

      by Abou Ben Adhem on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:18:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The TU Catch 22 (4.00)
    This community does need better policing. I don't comment that much, but I understand that it's quite difficult to get and maintain TU status. You really need to comment all the time and say inane sorts of things that will get 65 "4"s like "George Bush is a chimipy little dunce who can't even zip his own fly". I'm sure if I spent an hour a day writing those types of comments in Cheers and Jeers and WTFYP diaries, I'd get TU status. But what a waste of time and pixels!

    That may be part of the problem; who are the types of users who rack up boatloads of 4s?

    Where's Osama? Bumperstickers should be issued.

    by tooblue on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:41:07 AM PDT

    •  Well that depends (none)
      First, unless the comment is totally trollish, I give 4's to anyone who bothers to read and comment in a diary I post.

      Second, the well-known users, ones who have been around and tend to get diary recognition, get 4's quite often.

      Finally, if you post in some of the regular features (specifically I would point you to Cheers & Jeers) you will rack up 4's because it's a fun 4-fest in there, political satire and comedy and life-stories and thing of that ilk and the rule is, unless again there's an obvious troll-crashing, everyone gets a 4 from everyone else who posted.

      Cheers, and have a 4 from me!

      The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

      by RenaRF on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:46:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And I'd argue (none)
      that C&J is not a waste of pixels.  :-D  Bill's posts alone are rife with relevant political content, irony and rants.  The users who post also tend to seize upon the politically ridiculous and post them as well - I've found that a lot can be learned from C&J!

      The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

      by RenaRF on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:49:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  God no! (none)
        I wasn't arguing that C&J is a waste of pixels. Bill puts a lot of time and energy into writing something that is witty and intelligent. I was referring to comments.

        Where's Osama? Bumperstickers should be issued.

        by tooblue on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:32:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not really true (none)
      I've had TU status pretty much since I got here, and have never lost it. I don't participate in most mojo fests, and often go days without commenting at all. I'm sure there are plenty of us in the same position.

      However, I haven't been as vigilant about being the "diary cop" lately, partly because I just don't need the hostility of a bunch of idiots who couldn't be bothered to comply with the rules or norms of the site. I mostly just hit the hidden comments every week to make sure that no one has been victimized by ratings abuse. So here's the deal, the more TUs take on the role of diary cop, the less often purges might have to happen.

      lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

      by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:13:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK (none)
        but how on earth would I do that? I have been a trusted user for quite a while and have no idea how to accomplish this.

        Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

        by dpc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:34:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Be a diary cop? (4.00)
          Don't just pass over the bs diaries, but get in there and argue for rationality. Question assumptions. Ask for more information. Demand links from reputable sources. If you think a diary isn't recommendable, engage those that recommended it to get them to think more about it.

          The other TU jobs should be looking out for ratings abuse, duplicate diaries (a losing proposition for sure) and one-liner type diaries.

          lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

          by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:41:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks (none)

            Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

            by dpc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:04:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  what if (none)
            this were codified?  All of the things you mention as "TU jobs" with the exception of looking at ratings abuse can be done by anybody on the site.  

            [Disclaimer: I was once a TU, and am no longer, due mostly, I suspect (hope?) to the fact that I hardly ever post any more.  I lost it after 2 months of non-posting, and I'm OK with that :)]

            The big difference I've seen between being a TU and not was being able to view the hidden comments, and to give people 0s.  I think I might have done that once, and while the hidden comments can be entertaining and/or offensive, I didn't see that as a great bonus.

            What if Kos allowed TUs to rate diaries?  That would be an incentive to become a TU, and also a means of having "elected" officials policing the diaries.  Not just a group of 5 or 6 FPers, but the several hundred (thousand?) TUs.  At the same time, it keeps people (like me, now) who don't post that frequently, or don't have that highly rated of comments from ratings abuse.

            This comment will probably be lost in the 500+ in this diary, but it seems like a possible solution.

          •  I don't do diary policing much (none)
            I don't read enough diaries to qualify for the stun club and battery charger kit. but I do watch for ratings abuse pretty close

            and I rescue some people from hidden page purgatory occasionally, while working for the though police, internal affairs division

            mostly I use my TU status to flame trolls

            and I really think that some of the people being banned are the trolls I've been flaming for the past day

            yeah, sometimes innocent people get burned, but nothing flames up like a good troll

    •  I don't think it's that difficult. (none)
      I rarely visit C&J, although this week I've gone there twice.

      I lurked for a year on this site before I actually joined, and since then I've only written 4 diaries, all with a personal, emotional base.  I am not as brilliant as the other posters here, and definitely not near the writer the majority seem to be.

      But I do comment when something is important to me, and I've been a trusted user my entire time here.  I admit to reading this site daily, but I certainly do not post comments on a daily basis.

      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 1700+ dead Americans, 100,000+ dead Iraqis, all on your head. WWJS?

      by Miss Blue on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:18:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harsh... (none)
    ...but sadly, there have been a few names I would have liked to add to the list myself. Glad it was you making the call.

    Somehow however, I think the bar brawl quality of some debates will continue. And I'm inclined to think that's a good thing.

  •  A sad day (none)
    Not that it isn't justified, but it's sad that it had to come to this. I've resisted the various exoduses (exodusii?) to LSF, Booman etc because I like to hear the sweaty masses shouting along with the chosen few, but I've been looking for a new home base recently due to the plunging signal to noise ratio. Hopefully this will be just enough to boost the signal ratio to an acceptable level, while still allowing as wide a range of dialog as possible.

    It could be worse. msaroff could still be living in Texas.

    by George on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:42:39 AM PDT

  •  I see your point (none)
    and agree with you about the conspiracy whackos.

    However, doing this the day after one of your handpicked front-page posters goes completely batshit drunk on his own power, is a wee bit fishy.

    "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

    by ChurchofBruce on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:47:20 AM PDT

    •  You have to be kidding me (4.00)
      You agree with THIS, mass bannings, but I went batshit drunk with my power by DELETING one diary?

      You are either the biggest kiss ass of all time or completely myopic.

      Either way, what a ridiculous comment.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:08:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Armando (none)
        I hesitate to address one as eminent as you by name, but, frankly, that whole thing was a little weird.  Okay, more than a little.  And the seven "Armando-themed" diaries that followed the deletion, two of which were yours, at a time when traffic was peaking and people were desperate for interaction on the topic of the London bombings ...  Well, in my view, this showed a lack of discretion.

        I'm just saying.

        "Hillary Clinton fathered a half-black child with a prostitute in Mississippi. I'll stake my reputation on it." -- Ken Mehlman, RNC Chairman

        by bink on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:31:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Lack of discretion" (4.00)
          is one way of putting it.

          "Acting like the arrogant asshole of all time" is how I'd put it.  Of course, since I've now disagreed with Saint Armando, I can expect more arrogant profantities to rain down on my head.

          In other words, it wasn't the deletion. It was the aftermath. And Armando damn well knows it. In every post after the deletion, including the two diaries, Armando was a complete asshole. And it's a pattern to his behavior I'm, frankly, sick of.

          Kos has done two things here: he's explained why he did a mass-banning. And--most importantly--he's let people on this thread vent and not followed people that disagree with him with a 'fuck you, I'm the boss' comment. The comments he has made on this thread have been further explanation. In other words, he hasn't come off as an asshole.

          If Armando is going to be a FPer with the power to delete diaries, he needs to learn to do that, explain why he did it, and then STFU. Posting two diaries of "Hey, I have the power" and then chasing down every dissenting commenter with the same whiny arrogant bullshit is counterproductive and annoying.  

          "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

          by ChurchofBruce on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:59:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll second that... (none)

            Let them eat war.

            by Ti Jean on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:05:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You prefer me (none)
            NOT to engage the community.

            But what if I want to?

            You saying I should not be able to?

            That I should stay on Olympus?

            Well, I disagree.

            I will tell you why epsecially.

            You can skip each and everyone of my posts.

            Finally, you say I was "batshit drunk" and complain about my lack of civilty.

            As always, the irony drips.

            The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

            by Armando on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:22:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Engaging the community"? (none)
              That's not really what you call that display yesterday, is it?


              First of all, if you're gonna quote me, get it right. I said "batshit drunk on power". That's far different. You threw your weight around yesterday like a fucking tyrant.

              Now....NOTHING you did yesterday was 'engaging the community'. It was talking down, hectoring, and throwing out insults. That's not engaging. "Staying on Olympus" is a good metaphor--because that's exactly what you did. You never came down off of it.

              I'd LOVE for you to 'engage the community'. But to do that, you first have to climb down off that damn self-constructed Olympus of yours.

              I have not been complaining about your lack of civility. I've been complainging about your arrogance. If you're a front page poster on this community--which I think is the worst decision Kos ever made, but I'm not Kos--you have to start fucking acting like it. What you did yesterday reflects badly on this whole site. A little responsibility, not civility, that's what I want. And 'you can skip every one of my posts' from a front page poster is the ultimate weaselly cop-out.

              I've said all I'm gonna say. I'll let you have the last word--which is generally from what I can see the only fucking thing you really care about.

              "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

              by ChurchofBruce on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:34:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  You have to keep the (4.00)
    conspiracy BS off this thing.

    dKos is primetime. It is el bloggo numero uno.  It had 700,000 people looking at it yesterday.  Dont you think Rush Limbaugh is one of them ?  Dont you think they will use this kind of stuff to discredit the community ?

    I say Kos can do what he wants.  This blog is afterall a bunch of HTML code on his server.  And only that.  To try to see he owes anyone anything is wrong.

    •  Absolutely right (none)
      I guarantee that any politician who is "endorsed" in someway by this blog in the next round of elections is going to get hit with a whole bunch of quotes from this blog.  Not just the conspiracy crazies, either.  Think back to some of the sentimental posts about the Pope while he was dying- so, Mr. Candidate, you accept money from the people at DKos- does this mean you agree Pope John Paul II committed crimes against humanity?

      A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

      by JakeC on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:05:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's bull**** (3.71)
    I hold your site and your personal posts in extremely high regard, and I look forward to reading your site every day; however, I thoroughly disagree with your so-called purge.  

    I don't know why you think it is appropriate to ban anyone unless they are an absurd right-winger who talks utter nonsense so it is hard for me to fully or properly respond to why you deem it legitimate to ban contentions that yesterday's bombing was an inside job.  

    I submit that it is premature for anyone (except the perpetrators) to say they know who carried out yesterday's attacks.  If the British police and intelligence communities don't know who did this then how could you or I. But, one thing I do know is that it was just as irresponsible to say that it was al qaeda as they did so quickly yesterday.  Yes, my gut said it was likely that yesterday's attack was terrorism and/or al qaeda.  But, what do I know?  I am not in the police or intelligence line of work.  And, yet at the same time I have this nagging feeling that it is certainly possible that it was an inside job.

    Yesterday's attacks immediately changed the dynamic.  Before the attack, it seemed that the left was gaining some ground: the actions of John Conyers, Joe Wilson, sites like this one, calls for impeachment, the outing of Karl Rove, the ridiculous comments of Rumsfeld ("we are talking to the insurgents, we are not talking to the insurgents. . . hey, lots of people are talking to lots of people every day"), Bush's ineptitude and corruption seeming clearer in the eyes of America. There seemed to be momentum.  Now, all of that will be pushed to the back burner.  

    Yesterday's attacks may be the death knell to the G8-Bush won't have to sign a climate treaty or give more money to the poor.  There will be less calls for change in Iraq, less talk of Karl Rove, less talk about DSM, and all the time the right will provide Bush cover-take a look at the comments on Little Green Footballs.  

    The fact is that I think we were close to turning the corner before London.  Now, the left may be muted and the left will not respond to comments like Brit Hume-that this will be an opportunity to make money!!!  The left will not respond to comments like "nuke em all."  The left will not push for an inquiry into DSM.  The left may not even challenge Bush's Supreme Court nomination.  

    You have to admit it sure does work out well for Bush even when he looked like a moron yesterday.  I could not help but think wondering what side he was on when he said that some folks were in Scotland talking about poverty and climate change while others were killing innocent people.  (I should have gotten the exact quote because it was eerie.) I know that sounds harsh, and I may be criticized for it, but if what I thought merits being purged then by g-d purge me. IMHO    

    •  The left will respond (4.00)
      But we will not be distracted by slanders based on our tolerance of tinfoil hatters.  Some folks croosed the line.

      The left will not be muted.

      But we will show the same respect to British mourning that they showed to us.

      Bush will not get the upper hand because despite all of his control of information, reality is a bitch.

      And which left do you assert is not responding?  The Democrats in Congress?  Is that it?  If they do not respond, we need to jolly well get some new Democrats in Congress come 2006.

      The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

      by TarheelDem on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:55:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  money for the poor o/t (none)
      Money for the poor it may be but unconditional it ain't

      Third world debt refinancing is not so different from debt consolidation ... concessions must be made concerning terms of trade and tariff agreements as well as the privatization of natural resources such as oil, water, gas, zinc, cadmium etc etc

      "There is no limit to what you can do if you have the power to change the rules." via Josh Marshall

      by grollen on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:34:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush and Company (none)
    Took a snooze prior to 911 that allowed it to happen.

    Conspiracy? O'neil didn't think so.

  •  If foresight was hindsight, great. (4.00)
    Reality-based community.
    That's why so damned many of us find ourselves perusing dailyKOS daily. A virtual buffet of information & opinion covering a broad spectrum of subjects.

    But unless your foresight has 20/20 vision as hindsight does, the enforcement of reality-based community is based upon subjective, not objective, judgement.

    I agree that there is no place for diaries showing how Limbaugh's oxy habit is really a cover for microtransmitters that beam messages directly from a satellite planted in Rove's asshole, operated by Jeff Gannon, in a plot against Wal-Mart unionizing. I think that's safe to say.

    But you dismissed the Fraudsters as fringe loonies, albeit at a time when there was a dearth of information & a flood of conspiracies. Of course you'll have the wild-eyed crackpots on the outskirts throwing baseless accusations, but that shouldn't taint those who were diligent & accurate in their research & reporting.

    Some of them were right, but were not considered part of the reality-based community at the time. Shit, the whole Noe debacle may prove some of the craziest conspiracy theorists correct in the end. If you cut off the extremes, the new "extremes" were the previous "moderate-extremes".

    This is your sandbox, Kos, and you've done a great job in building dKos into a bloggernaut. I hope you don't take my retort as disrespect, but please tell me this exKOSmunication is an extreme action taken in response to extreme lunacy.

    I'm now afraid to post my Olsen twins working with Rumsfield, mailed Anthrax diary.

    "I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV."

    by zeitshabba on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:49:43 AM PDT

    •  Agreed on this (4.00)
      There must be a place for speculation; look at what came of the open discussion surrounding the Gannon story.  We have a much more detailed understanding of the machinations of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" at work -- the one for which Hillary was shouted down as a conspiracy nut job.  We now know there really is a "vast right-wing conspiracy", and it continues to grow and thrive.

      If we cannot discuss freely what bothers us (like the VRWC), how will we ever share resources that substantiate the truth -- whether the truth is that a story is a fabrication or opinion or fact?

      Just as you indicated, the Noe-Coingate story may well prove many of us so-called "fraudsters" (skeptics, I prefer) only too right; we only lacked adequate resources, facts on the ground and encouragement to make our case.  We are far from done with Ohio, if speculation about the turnpike-system-cum-money-laundering vehicle proves out.

      I imagine there were those even among the ranks of the left during the 70's who nay-sayed the idea that a president or members of his administration would ever sink so low as to pull dirty tricks or break into opposition offices.

      We know how that turned out, but we had the press on our side then.  How will this all turn out now?

      Perhaps what's needed is not just a rating system, but a way for Kos and Kossacks to label something as speculative.  What if there were a button or quantity that readers could assign to "speculative" diaries?  What if diarists were encouraged to label their posts, "[SPECULATION]The trouble with subject x"?

    •  damn! (none)
      I've been working for three weeks on a diary that shows how Limbaugh's oxy habit is really a cover for microtransmitters that beam messages directly from a satellite planted in Rove's asshole, operated by Jeff Gannon, in a plot against Wal-Mart unionizing. What am I gonna do with it now?

      No, don't tell me.

  •  I support this, but it's a careful line (4.00)
    What we're seeing, I think, is that now that DailyKos has some name recognition and credibility (that is, some actual traction in the MSM and the political sphere), content that can be quoted to undermine that credibility becomes a threat to the mission.  I accept that concept and endorse the idea of some editorial control along those lines.

    But it's tricky, and I hope you have done some thinking about what sort of standard, objective criteria you will apply in cases like these.  Let's face it:  there HAVE been some very weird conspiracies in our nation's history which no one would have believed until they came out.  The Nixon link to the Watergate burglary, the whole privatized covert war under Iran-Contra, and the Lewinsky blowjob are examples of things that actually occurred, but were bizarre and seemingly unlikely at the concept level until the evidence came along.

    I agree that we don't help ourselves by tolerating bizarre grand conspiracy theories.  But I hope you've got some kind of litmus test beyond "this doesn't sound reality-based to me", Markos.  That way lies the end of robust debate, broad participation, and the spirit of blogging in the first place.

    If you support Bush, you don't support the troops. It's that simple.

    by Dracowyrm on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:52:41 AM PDT

  •  Get Your T Shirts Here (4.00)
             I Survived The Purge
       I agree with Kos, but I see lots of openings for humor here
  •  Testing. 1... 2... 3... Testing... (4.00)
    "Naive" and "tin-foil nutjob" are often opposite sides of the same coin.  Who would have  thought Nixon was doing what he was, something so damning that thirty-something years later Ben Stein still refuses to admit what was happening? (link) Would wondering out loud about what Nixon was doing have gotten one banned here before the details became public knowledge?  There's a difference between being willing to consider a possibility and insisting that something is true without proper foundational evidence.  And one man's foundational evidence is another man's tin-foil sometimes. I'm still open to the possibility that there was a massive vote fix, though I don't have all the necessary evidence to prove it, and I think it is naive to not be open to that possibility.  To insist that there was vote fraud, based only on the evidence currently available, is an altogether different thing.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:59:22 AM PDT

  •  Disagree very strongly (4.00)
    There's too much concern about what people at and the like will think. Who cares what they think? Do they care what we think? Is one vote going to change to their side because people on daily kod are --to my mind-- justifiably suspicious of bizarre events taking place in the real world that do not submit to rational explanations?

    I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I have seen too many conspiracies change the course of American history to discount the possibility of yet another. When Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald in police custody, in front of the world's TV cameras, I realized that the United States was just another banana republic. And after that it just got worse and worse, year by year.

    I don't think anyone is arguing that Blair and Bush conspired. But do you really believe that it would be beyond American black job operatives to pull a stunt like this? As one subscriber noted, it's just so convenient for Bush that it makes you suspicious on the face of it. I think that people should be allowed to discuss that in full, if only to ventilate their suspicions and have the opportunity to receive the counsel of others.

    I will reserve judgment on how this bombing came about, but I don't buy the official story just yet, and I think that all questions should be raised and heard and considered. I certainly hope that's what the British press and security forces are now doing.

    I also do not feel that people should be banned for ex-post facto violations of a new policy. News and issues for journalists.

    by Jules Siegel on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:00:44 AM PDT

    •  Bollocks. (none)
      Who cares what freepers think? Does Kos mention them? What a strawman.

      It's about what a large number of people on this site thinks, and what the owner of this site thinks, about standards for postings. I.e. being, even just marginally, based on truth.

      This signature proves I am deep and philosophical.

      by Frank on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:18:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Things definitely were getting out of hand (none)
    I do think it'd be wise to have this in the FAQ.  So that community members can refer it to newbies who come through to cause trouble or try to make these FR or LGF.

    Please visit my blog Penndit.
    RWCM's CW is certainly conventional, but rarely wise.

    by Newsie8200 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:06:02 AM PDT

  •  What's good for the Freeple is good for the Dems.. (4.00)
    I say you make us all sign loyalty oaths...

    Kinda puts it in perspective, doesn't it?

    "Here's your damn fireball, Adella..." Rags

    by rosabw on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:06:20 AM PDT

  •  Bravo! (nt) (none)

    "Although some species may be now increasing, more or less rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold them." Darwin

    by dissenter2004 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:08:53 AM PDT

  •  Kos, you missed one... (4.00)

    My diary from June 30th:

    'The Man' is keeping me down here at dkos!

    Among my tinfoil beliefs:

    • Believing that America needs to have seven plagues visited upon it to cleanse our  evil ways and have the Olsen Twins assume their rightful places as our demi-gods/queens.

    • Joe Biden's hair plugs, when viewed from above, form the "666" symbolic of Satan and that Joe, may, indeed, be a messenger sent by the Dark Lord to undermine our party, our democracy and our freedom.

    • Dick Cheney is an automoton -- a robot version of his former self, cloned from the Dick Cheney DNA that remained after he died during surgery in 1988.  Cheney was cloned by the various major corporations whose interests he now projects and protects.

    • Kos and his site are secretly an arm of Haliburton which has built this blog to gather liberals all in one place.  This helps them collect data on us with an ultimate goal of destroying us.  (This is an extension of the "flypaper theory" of attracting terrorists the neocons are currently pedaling as a way to justify our continued presence in Iraq.)

    • Kos has become a multi-millionaire off this site -- at our expense -- through his blatant whore selling of premium ad space to "deep pocket" advertisers like

    • This blog is not focused enough on me.  Me.  And my problems.  And my issues.  And my inability to do my laundry in a timely fashion.  And me.  Just me.  Me, me, me.  That's what more of this blog should be about.  Me.

    I always knew you were controlled by Haliburton.

  •  Third Catagory (4.00)
    Maybe a third catagory would help.

    Highly Recommended - Recommended - then Recent.

    A Recommended or middle level Diary would need a dozen or so recommends to make the middle level or "purgatory".
    Other then that. What qualifies as Conspiracy?

    Who killed JFK?

    Maybe the 911 bombers WERE CIA?

    Where is Jimmy Hoffa?

    Overall - "purges" "kossacks" "red stars" -- Lets lose the stalinist referencs. As a Jew by history. I don't dig it. Should I say so? Or not?

  •  Well, good luck (none)
    Maybe this will work. Maybe this will truly make the site more like what you want and maybe most of the people here will want that too. Maybe booting the crazy element will make the site more respectable. Maybe people will get a bad taste from this action and give up and go elsewhere. Who knows?

    I suspect that squelching the undesirable element is just part of running a site. The history over at kuro5hin should show the several waves of booting they had to go through.

    •  I'm Not Sure (none)
      There have been some strange posts lately but I think there are other problems which can be just as harmful. One thing I have noticed lately is that there are a few who have decided they are above the rest of us and feel they are soooo prescient that they can detect little tone problems and such in other's posts. Consequently, they simply must punish the offender with a poor rating - the teachable moment don't you know. This kind of behaviour is not only sanctimonious and pompous, but it is ultimately not significantly better than that of the conspiracists.

      Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

      by dpc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:53:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've learned a lot (none)
    Since I started coming to this site. Not the least of which is that if you can't substantiate a claim you have no business making it.

    IMO too many people here have the power to recommend a diary. Some diaries are an easy call, but others are far too complicated for the average person (like me)to evaluate.

    I used to be a trusted user at one time, but truthfully I would make it much more difficult to reach that level also. There are many many people here (such as myself) who are better off sitting back and trying to learn as much as we can.

    Thanks for a great site Kos and for letting the average person (like me) particpate. I try not to abuse it and I am sorry if I ever had. If I have I can assure you it's not intentional, frankly I simply have never had the opportunity to get a formal education. But I'm here and hoping someday I find my niche. Until then I'll keep signing petitions and sending angry emails to Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly, and the rest of the coporate shills :)

    ::lightbulb goes on:: Hey, maybe that IS my niche!

    •  Your first paragraph,,,,,,,,, (4.00)
      says it all.

      When I refer people to this site, that is the reason I give - the site demands accountability with regard to statements made as fact.  To me it is the primary asset of Dailykos.  It is not a liberal version of Rush, Hannity, etc. who spew garbage-du-jour with nothing to back up their wild claims.  


      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 1700+ dead Americans, 100,000+ dead Iraqis, all on your head. WWJS?

      by Miss Blue on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:28:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not all conspiracy theories are false! (none)
    Patriotboy (Jesus' General) rightly and correctly believes that the French have labeled him 'Liberal' and are trying to undermine his truly masculine and Conservative message.
    Additionally, please send this very important public service announcement to your local radio station to assist in our country's recruitment efforts:

    Thank you for your support.

  •  THANK YOU! (none)

    I was beginning to become embarrassed to come here.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
    -Carl Sagan

  •  Further (4.00)
    I'm Jewish by history.
    I enjoy seeing Diarist's that would say "Jews are running everything - or Jews run the media" confronted.

    I enjoy seeing a conspiracy theory Diary without facts taken apart and discussed.

    Some things are better confronted, then banned.

    Too offensive? Someone using the N-word?
    Delete it. Repeat offenders? Ban them.

    Content? No - let bad content be confronted not banned.

    I may think GOD is a UFO. I have no facts on that, but if that's my belief, should I say so?

    Confront - not fear.

    Confront - don't ban.

  •  Hey Kos (4.00)
    I make this plea on behalf of the good angry people here who know that something is wrong and, at times, let it freak them out: Don't ban--warn. If you have to, ban after that--but warn first. Please.

    Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

    by Earl on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:22:45 AM PDT

    •  One other thing (none)
      it won't work anyway. People can just re-signup with a different email--and they'll come back pissed.

      This is flypaper for trouble Kos. Don't do it. Ignore it.

      Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

      by Earl on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:07:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let me get this strait . . . (4.00)
    You're not just banning the diaries, you're banning the people who are recommending the diaries?  

    Hey, its your site man, but that's just bizarre.

    "A little bit of inefficiency is called culture." Check out my Diary you might like it.

    by dbratl on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:24:11 AM PDT

  •  Kos (none)
    Can you do something about 1 paragraph diaries that should be in the comment threads of existing diaries?  Some days the diaries are cluttered with those.  Diary abuse is rampant lately. Is there a way to limit the # of diaries allowed on a single subject?  It gets like CNN sometimes, with the one story shit. Post it in the threads, dammit!

    The conspiracy diary I saw yesterday struck me as a pure rove/freep operation.  I read the first graph & said, this is stupid, & left it, hoping it would scroll off.  That kind of stuff really does degrade the site.  I also think the recommenders of that crap are part of the conspiracy of freepers to discredit this site.

    So there's my CT.

    The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:30:18 AM PDT

  •  That is disturbing (4.00)

    First, there are a lot of us who are quite "reality-based" but believe dismissing these theories out of hand is not helpful.

    We should be reality-based but open-minded.  

    Had Oklahoma City happened now, would we label as conspiricists people who said "what if this was some American wack-o?"

    Had the Kennedy assasination happened in the age of blogs, at what point would we have cut off debate?

    My personal opinion:
    I am 97% sure the London attacks were Al Queda or some form of terrorism.  

    I am 95% sure Al Queda alone did 9/11 with no inside assistance.

    I am 50% sure the Bush Admin did more than just screw up- that they are hiding something bigger -- perhaps a massive foul-up that they could have stopped it from happening, perhaps something more.

    Given that the latter would be 100 times bigger than Watergate-- I think we should not dismiss these things.

    I am also worried about "OPen Debate"-- perhaps shaping conspiricists attitudes and helping them understand how to communicate as "reality based" is a positive role this site plays.  

    PS I understand banning conspiracy diaries-- comments can be troll-rated and thus should not be banned unless dire (i.e. something illegal).

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:31:34 AM PDT

    •  PS Wondering if my cheer and jeer was banned (none)
      I had to go to a meeting (you know, work- dangit) and pressed post quickly so it may not have taken-

      But I had a nice Jeer to people who outright dismiss conspiracists-- now... it was meant to be a little tongue in cheek- but that is again where I have a problem with banning-- there is a fine line -- and badly done satire is embarrasing (like bad spelling)  but it should not be banned-

      especially when comments can be troll-rated.

      Bush will be impeached.

      by jgkojak on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:36:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    We're a big tent --- but we're not that big. The amount of left-of-left wackos throwing out bullshit psycho freakshow conspiracy theories has been growing and growing and growing here and they are KILLING any reality-based credibility we have.

    We have some geniunely gifted minds posting important information here on a daily basis. When I see it getting buried beneath ever-more-prevelant-and-rising piles of shit, it bothers the hell out of me.

    I'm personally asking all the nuts to go look for UFOs in Arizona. They need your expertise there much more than we do here.




  •  I don't see what the problem is. (none)
    "fringe" claims with no support = bad

    "fringe" calims with support = Ok, thanks for posting, even though some might disagree

    recommending your own diary through various clone accounts = terrible

  •  i think (4.00)
    this really sucks, personally.  I mean, it's Kos' site and he can do whatever he wants.  But this is kind of scary.  As someone mentioned in the comments above, how do we know if what we're posting is a "conspiracy theory"?  If you talked about Peak Oil a year ago you would have been called crazy, and you still might today.  but I love Jerome a Paris' diaries.  Was he banned?  

    how do we know what is aceptable to publish?  I think the strength of this site is that there are so many people using it.  Most people here are probably coming from a "lefty", or "democratic" slant, but under that general heading there are lots of viewpoints which all have the potential to contribute something.  i think by banning "conspiracists" you've just limited the conversation and, thus, limited the potential of the site.  Maybe most of these diaries were genuine crap, but if so then the community here will probably treat them as such.

    and of course after an event like yesterday's, lots of people are going to be posting all sorts of nonsense because no one really knows what's going on.  and if people post incredulous, unbelievable stuff, then people won't believe it.  a purge is not necessary and, I think, rather fascist.  which again, Kos can do whatever he wants.  But I think alot of people, myself included, like this site because it's so open and, generally, democratic in it's operation.

    •  it is open, it is democratic (none)
      but the point really is that those who write diaries do have some minimal (and they are minimal) responsibilities for such things as links, facts, etc.

      There is no free license for garbage like Bush and Blair were behind the bombings (NY or London) without some kind of documentation to back up such a claim. I don't understand why that's even a debate.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:42:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sure (none)
        but I think most people here would have the same reaction as you, that that kind of stuff is garbage.  or if they didn't think it was garbarge right of the bat, they probably would want some evidence.  without this, they'd probably ignore it.

        but then, what type of evidence would it take for you to think Bush and Blair were behind these bombings?  I'm not saying I think that, but would you react the same way if someone posted a diary making those claims and providing some evidence?

        also, maybe someone would read some garbarge diary that makes that claim, with no evidence, and maybe it will give the viewer the idea to maybe try to find evidence?  and what's wrong with that?  maybe this other person would come back with a diary that blames bush and blair for the bombings, but has some evidence to back up their claims.  and maybe then someone else will read that and it will give them some other idea... etc.. etc...

        i'm just saying I think Kos is being reactionary and limiting possible routes of information and what I think is a big reason this place is so interesting.  we can sometimes act like this enormous reasearch department.  and that's really cool and potentially powerful (somewhat).

        Let the community here decide what is garbage and give it the attention (or lack thereof) it deserves.

  •  well that sounds great kos, just fucking great. (3.40)
    ban all the people that express views that you don't agree with, until every post reflects your all-know, all-encompassing perspective.  

    And banning people for recommending diaries? WTF are you on? That's great, you have no idea why people recommend diaries, I've seen diaries written by wingers that were recommended so that we all may see how ridiculous their claims are, and have our chance to refute them.  

    but all-knowing kos is above all this, he is aware of all sources of motivation, and thus is fit to ban members during any of his hissy fits.

    I don't usually resort to name calling, but this is really immature, I really expected a lot more from you.

    I'm seriously starting to question the motives for your actions.  At one point I thought that your purpose was to inform the general population, and allow a self-marinating forum available for open discourse.

    But it seems now that you are actively suppressing the opinions of every member that express something that you don't agree with, along with anyone who finds their points interesting.

    That's absolutely disgusting and it flies in the face of everything that I thought this community was about.

    This place is not about you kos, its about people coming together and communicating thoughts and ideas and now you have stifled the openness of this forum by forcing your kosSpeak on the rest of us.

    The Bill of Rights, not the Ten Commandments, should be on our buildings

    by chinkoPelinke on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:37:36 AM PDT

    •  see comment directly above (none)
      Some responsibility rests with the diarists as well. But in fact, if one reads all the comments on this lengthy thread, your POV is certainly not the only one the community has (though you're entitled to it).

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:45:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  let me also add, that i agree with the fact that (none)
      it's not very wise to write diaries on conspiracy theories that you cant back up, but at the same time , you should never ban a member for posting ideas that you dont agree with

      The Bill of Rights, not the Ten Commandments, should be on our buildings

      by chinkoPelinke on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:04:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How honest are the right? (none)

    I will also say that one tactic the right has is drowning the airwaves with rumors and innuendo with no "REALITY BASE" - (swift boat veterans).  

    Frankly, if people want to make the right answer to these kind of things, I have no problem.

    Perhaps we should convince the conspiracists to focus on spreading rumors that Rove weare women's underwear or something like that?

    Seriously-- let's also note as a couple other posters did--

    Is, uhhhh, Bush known for his, you know, honesty?

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:42:14 AM PDT

  •  Just don't forget (none)
    that a good deal of people out there would label Markos a conspiracy theorist and write him off as a nut job.  

    One man's nut is another man's genius...  And no one has a monopoly on "reality."  I mean, the scientists can't even tell me what the hell it is (string theory is their latest go ...).  But Markos knows?  Man, NONE of us are omniscient.  

    But I do agree with those who say it is his site and he can do whatever he wants with it.  

    On thing though.  I have spent a fair amount of time defending kos from those who say it curbs free speech.  I don't really think I can do that in good conscience anymore.  I don't think it is the biggest deal in the world, but I do feel like a dolt now.

    I guess I just don't see what's wrong with letting the wackos scroll off the recent diaries list.  

    And lastly, while making it clear that I neither think this was done by Bush or Blair nor do I know WHO did it, if we are going to be a place for the facts and just the facts, I want to see some hard evidence that BushCo didn't plan this.  

    See?  Sometimes what we like to think of as undeniable reality includes a great deal of faith and the choice to err on the most humane and decent side.  

    I guess I just don't see things as black and white as kos...


    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

    by poemless on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:42:39 AM PDT

    •  It's His Site and He Can Do What He Wants? (none)
      That's a fairly undemocratic idea - I'm sure that kos would take a broader view.

      Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

      by dpc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:59:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I meant that literally. (none)
        I mean, he owns and runs the site, right?

        We didn't democractically elect him to represent us or anything. He doesn't owe me anything.

        "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

        by poemless on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:12:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (none)
          but the site would be pointless without readers and contributors, correct? My way or the highway smacks too much of Reaganism.

          Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

          by dpc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:25:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great! (none)
    I was just telling my husband yesterday: "I don't know what's happening to my on-line community". The unfounded, uncited theories have been flying lately.

    Are you safer now than you were 6 years ago?

    by coigue on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:42:46 AM PDT

  •  Apparently (4.00)
    the adage that a Democrat may not agree with someone's point of view but will defend someone's right to say it no longer applies.

    As of this moment, I'm volunteering to be banned, because "oooh, I think there is an evil cabal in Washington D.C. that knows no bounds when it decides to take and hold power".

    So go ahead and ban me Kos, I'm really not enjoying the recent addition of reactionary pro-war "terrorists hate our country" responses of some people on this site anyway. It seems so strange that I have to defend an anti-war stance and explain that terrorists react to social conditions we placed on them. I feel like I'm arguing against Republicans.

    I left for two months, and then I came back to a completely different Kos. I left for a while because I got totally burnt out and tired of the bullshit that the Bush cabal puts us through everyday. I spent that time that I used to spend here playing poker, not thinking about the sad situation of our world for a while. Maybe that's what I need to return to, because you obviously don't want to count someone like me among the supporters of Democracy in this country.

    Have fun canvassing in neighborhoods like mine and talking to people like me who are sick of Democrats deciding to get rid of those who think a little differently.


    •  And where are you going to go? (none)
      Give me a break.

      Let them eat war.

      by Ti Jean on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:56:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't read very well, do you? (none)
        I said I spent two months away from here playing poker. I'm going to go back to playing poker and not worrying about this world anymore. Far too much water under the bridge IMO to make change count for anything, and now Kos doesn't defend the rights of others to say whatever they wish.

        Incidentally Kos, I learned about PNAC from YOU. I wasn't a conspiracy theorist until I read YOUR PNAC info on dKosopedia. Apparently that means you contributed to the problem. Apparently that also means you're a conspiracy theorist. Welcome to the club.

        Off to Pogo for a game of poker. Bye y'all. It's been fun.

    •  Well, I for one, (none)
      hope you reconsider.  The energy at this site has changed a bit since we lost some key feminists (catnip, blksista ...) over the Pie Ad (which I think has shifted the balance between "love yous" and "fuck yous").  DKos continues to have adherents to Just War ideology as well as pacifists, just like the rest of the Democratic Party; but we'll have fewer peaceniks if you leave.

      "... I love watching you work. But I've got ... my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Gilder to frame for it. I'm swamped." The Princess Bride

      by Rusty Pipes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:34:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  April Fools! (none)
    Oh wait. Oh crap, now we're supposed to be respectable? Is this some kind of a conspiracy? Wait, is that a bad word now?

    Well, I try to post diaries that come from the real world, but if I had the talent for thinking up great conspiracy theories, I'd be writing fiction instead.

    Could we have a special "Conspiracy Theory" area? Maybe somewhere else? Sometimes the craziest and most heretical ideas turn out to be true later, like the earth orbiting the sun.

  •  There's enough REAL outrageous shit going on... (none)
    Why focus on what is uncertain, and, in reality, something we will never know the truth about.

    My feeling is that we need to focus on the knowable, the documentable, and the actionable.

    It is not useful to think that Bush is capable of some undocumented act, then theorize that he committed it, when there are plenty of horrible things we know he HAS done.

    It's like science vs religion. There are still plenty of interpretations of the observable facts, but the first step is observation, rather than faith.


    Are you safer now than you were 6 years ago?

    by coigue on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:50:08 AM PDT

  •  I think (none)
    of the Daily Kos as an information and opinion gathering resource for facilitating change and reform within the Democratic Party. I do not think of the Daily Kos as a microcosm of the vast catch-all of geniuses and idiots that is the Internet. Anything I see here that does not further the goal of electing reform-minded Democrats, I consider detrimental to that cause -- and that would include diaries like "Israel did it" and "Bush and Blair did it."

    I want to win in 2006. I want a reform-minded Democratic Congress. I want a reform-minded Democratic President. I want reform-minded Democratic governers and reform-minded Democratic state legislatures. And I do not want to promote, condone, or even ALLOW anything on this site that would jeopardize that honorable goal.

    Ban 'em. Fast. And keep banning 'em until they stop coming back.

  •  Awww (none)
    I must have totally missed those. Did ya delete the diaries too? That would be really sort of funny to read through...

    If th' meek ever do inherit th' earth some one'll git it away from 'em before they have it an hour

    by NorthStarDemocrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:55:58 AM PDT

  •  Yay! (4.00)
    I wish you'd expand this to the "controlled demoltion of WTC #7" people and the "Bush hiding 9000 dead Americans" people.  If they want to spread their nuttery, they can do it on Usenet or get their own blog.

    I wouldn't support expanding it to the fraudster people, as their diaries span the gamut from the useful "these touchscreen machines suck, let's get some legislation to replace them with something good" to the illucid "Karl Rove hacked the vote from his laptop at the grassy knoll!"  It would be hard to draw an appropriate line.

    •  it's all about EVIDENCE (none)
      There is major evidence of vote fraud on a massive scale.  That doesn't mean that it's true, but election fraudsters like me have serious legs to stand on when we claim that a million or more votes MAY have been stolen.  There is motive, opportunity and mountains of disturbing evidence (from exit polls to techies who were approached to hack machines to bizarre machine "repairs" at the last minute, etc.)

      On the other hand the OBL is in Texas, Bush/Blair bombed the trains, controlled demolition of WTC, etc., have absolutely NO evidence basis.

      That's the difference, and I'm pretty sure Kos realizes that difference.

  •  Okay, so (none)
    Let's have some names.  Heh.

    The sword of Damocles does its work not by its fall, but because it hangs.

    by GOTV on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:00:03 AM PDT

  •  fucking incredible. (4.00)
    Honestly, I am fucking shocked at the number of people complaining about Markos doing this.  I don't know about everyone else, but I don't want to look like a fucking lunatic.  I don't want to look like a lunatic and I don't want to feel like a fucking lunatic.  Which is how I felt when I read the nutty diaries about Bush and Blair orchestrating the attacks on London.  I thought to myself, "Wow, my people are fucking nuts."

    Markos wants this site to reflect well on him.  Every election the RNC is going to put out a "fact sheet" about this web site.  They already did it in 2004.  It's one of the things they did to bash Brad Carson.  

    Guess what'll be on it in 2006?

    If you think these fucking loony conspiracy theories is going to do anything but harm this web site and the Democratic party, I don't know how to help you.  And all the people getting indignant about "free speech" need someone to explain to them what exactly the first amendment provides.  Here's a hint: It isn't the ability to say whatever you want, whenever you want, at a privately run web site.

    •  There is something (4.00)
      seriously wrong with worrying about looking like a lunatic because of diaries that show up here. Think about what you just said.

      Kos too: You're embarassed? You opened the front door and said "Everybody who wants to, come on in!" You're gonna get some nuts that way. What's embarassing about that?

      Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

      by Earl on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:18:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's the goal? (none)
        I agree, I'm not terribly concerned about being vaguely associated with lunatics who happen to post at a site I read. Is that a personal issue that Tony needs to deal with? Dunno.*  But none of our names are at the top of the page.

        Kos opened the door, and lots of people came in. And then he started getting lots of attention and is becoming (has become?) a player. I don't think this is particularly about ego (not that it might not play a role), but as a player, he can get stuff done.  He (and by extension we) can get ideas out there. He (and by extension we) can empower democratic voices we agree with, and disempower those we don't. Can get ideas and viewpoints into the general consciousness via policy-wonk and actual MSM coverage. Can be a forum for other proto-activists to get real influence. Can, via action alerts, email campaigns, etc., get our message across. Can have an influence on elections and policy.  

        And now, lots more people are coming in, some of whom will be trolls and freepers, some just not as concerned with evidence, facts, logic (or as able, or aware of the need, to plainly communicate such) as Kos would like.  If nothing is done about that, you can be absolutely sure that when Kos or someone who prominently posts here (senators, congressmen, state and local officials as well as us ordinary folk), the opposition will point out the loonies. "You can't take anything Kos has to say seriously -- his blog was saying the pResident and Prime Minister blew up the London subways! Hours after it happened! Traitors!"

        We need credibility. We need to work much harder for it than we should. Many of us (myself included) use this site as a community, but its main purpose is (paraphrased) to reclaim our government (Kos posted about it after the Pie fight a while ago). I suspect that the kind of "embarassment" Kos is concerned about isn't "Geez, nutcases are calling themselves Kossacks" but more "damn, if I ever get a chance to testify before Congress again, or show up on TV, they're going to dig up the things these loonies say and use them against me."  

        I may be wrong about that. Kos may be more egocentric than I'm giving him credit for (he has certainly, on occasion, given evidence for such a conclusion!) But I think that he was right about taking action to set limits. It's his site, he has a goal, and he's been  generous about letting the lot of us wander around, talk about stuff he's not terribly interested in that's into directly related to his goals, and sometimes  push ideas that he feels are pointless, a waste of time, or just plain wrongheaded. We do need to be concerned that viewpoints other than Kos' are discussed.  But there have to be limits.

        * (But then, I will also walk around in public with a placemat on my head because my toddler nephew wants us to wear matching "hats." Not terribly concerned about what "people" think of me. )

        •  Understood (none)
          But Kos and everybody else here has a quick and easy and understandable defense: This is and open site. If you want to know what I think--read what I write. Not what someone who happened to come in the foor wrote.

          That works, doesn't it?

          That being said, Kos could easily do a TPM type format, with guest writers.

          That being siad--God, I love this site and the chance to once in a while contribute. Thank you, Kos, for that.

          Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

          by Earl on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:43:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm (none)
      Well, well ,well. This takes the cake! Did you come from a rightwing site? I think if a kid farts in a grocery store and you are the parent that might be embarrassing. As far as people with an opinion that isn't. Don't forget that many people are scared to death from this aweful leadership. I'm tired of reading people like you who write anyone with that opinion off as nuts etc.

      It amazes me how many fall into the "us and them" trap. Not everyone is liberal that doesn't trust Bush. Not everyone is a conservative who likes Bush. Maybe if you did your homework on 911 you'd be "loony" too!

  •  The Big Chill that will result from Banning (3.85)
    Two observations and my opinion on the Banning:

    Observation One:

    This diary is full of people criticizing the banning and then saying just kidding or qualifying that it's ok cuz it's Kos' site and he can do what he wants.  The qualifications of the criticism are a direct result of the banning in my opinion.  It is why the banning was the wrong choice.  I suspect we will see this carry over into other diaries and comments and it will hurt the site in the long run.

    Obserbation Two: Kos choosing to put the discussion of this subject in the diaries instead of on the front page speaks volumes about his own doubts regarding the choice to ban.  He should reconsider seeing that even he feels so chilled by the decision that he can't stand by it on the front page.

    My Opinion: I could qualify this post by saying I don't believe in the London theories, the Bin Laden is in Texas sipping champagne theories, the 911 was a PNAC plot theories, etc., but I won't.

    Some days I do suspect they are true, some days I don't.  I need to be able to see the crazies for the crazies and the good arguments for the good arguments to make this decision in the long run.  Only history will ultimately tell us the truth.

    I'm afraid I may not get the opportunity to think this through on Kos anymore.

    ---- Take a pill or talk?----

    by apotropaic on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:01:38 AM PDT

    •  asdf's (4.00)
      (a) I think the chilling effect is what's good about the banning. People will be more thoughtful about what they post, and less prone to post pure emotional reaction deviod of fact or argument. That is the general idea.

      (s) This is a meta issue. Meta issues almost always go in the diaries. The pie fight thing was a rare -- and catastrophic -- exception.

      (d) This isn't about opinions it's about the lack of proof and the proliferation rarefying constructive diaries. This is a blog dedicated to creating a Democratic party, so when items are posted trying to tear down the Republicans -- merely a tangential goal to building the Dems -- that are full of errors and hackery, that's a problem. You can't reconcile the stated goal of this site with conspiracy theorizing, so one has to go.

      (f) It doesn't really appear that too many people got banned. A number of recommenders and pro-conspiracy folks from the diaries yesterday have popped up today unbanned, so I think the user purge was not as widespread as people are thinking.

      •  Good Responses (4.00)
        All, especially the meta diary issue.  Hadn't thought of that.

        That said (don't you hate that phrase) I can't agree that a chilling affect is ever a good thing.

        I appreciate that thinking twice before you post is a smart thing to do, but I don't agree that it can be enforced.  I would prefer making it "cost" someone to post a diary.  Two a day is perhaps too many.  Maybe it should cost "mojo" to post more than one a week.

        ---- Take a pill or talk?----

        by apotropaic on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:51:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh definitely makes me watch what I say (none)
        out of fear of being one of the future banned based on speculative discussion, connecting dots in big mosaics, and rooting out smoking guns that prove the official stories to be false. Very chilling effect, indeed.

        Of course the fear of being banned is nothing compared to the fear of being jailed or murdered or otherwise physically disappeared. But it's got to start somewhere, huh?

  •  Damn (none)
    Just couldn't resist taking another swipe at the so-called "fraudsters" could you?
  •  Good! (none)
    Now I can quite worrying that I'll find the front page cluttered with diaries about the Masons and their Satanic activities.

    •  Hmmm... (4.00)
      Those are Shriners, though, right? They have Zoroastrian activities, not Satanic ones. Also, they only brought down one-fifteenth of WTC7. So that picture of blood fueled go-cart driving old folks "illuminates" mere bit players in the Grand SchemeTM.
  •  I have mixed feelings about (none)
    the "purge," but on balance have to say the quality of coherent, carefully thought out discourse has been slipping a lot in past few weeks.  I was getting really tired of all the sloppy, ranting diaries and all the "Fuck this, fuck that" laziness, and feel relieved that something has been done to try to contain all that--sure hope it works.  But I'm glad I'm not the one that had to make the decision--how's that for a complete cop-out?

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:10:33 AM PDT

  •  I can see it now.... (none)
    Kos's cleanup code:
    =>Diary.Delete() [+]
    >User.Ban() [+]
    =>Posts.(User.Ban || Diary.Delete()).Delete()
    >WHERE Diary.Contains("conspiracy theory");

    Then {POOF} we all disappear because of this Diary...

  •  Off-topic - Hey if you're close enough (none)
    come on over to SoapBlox/Chicago for local progressive blogging.
  •  Thank goodness, it's about time. (none)
    Shameless diary Plug:  I wrote a diary yesterday on the shamelessness of the conspiracy theories being bandied about here:

    I got flamed by more than one person, and even received a 2 in my tip jar.

    Kudos to Kos for keeping it real...I was started to wonder if I needed to find a different community.

    •  Your diary (none)
      and the positive comments and recommendations, are the real answers to this dilemma.

      Are we so lazy, or so busy, that we no longer have time, collectively, to teach each other? The people attached to some of these wacky ideas are not unsympathetic to our cause.

      Except, of course, those dastards of the Rumsfeld Red Owl Brigade, the Minions of Zoroaster, the Illuminati and the Bridgewater Pinochle Society, rude charlatans of the Right-Wing, whose separate but sole purposes are to degrade the integrity of DKos by posting wildly speculative and/or suggestive diaries and pointing them out to the MSM. But I digress.

      Right tactic: argument. Laughter. Ridicule. Recipes if necessary.

      Wrong tactic: xenophobia.

      I'm glad Markos has changed his mind, but sad that so many people are willing to give up the community concept, which is a democratic one, in favor of one that is more, well, Republican.

    •  Spoon, (none)
      I thought you had one of the best diaries on the site yesterday and I was disappointed to see it disappear as quickly as it did.  Thanks for reminding me of it and providing the link.

      "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." MLK

      by jmaier on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:03:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bannies = Kossackeds ??? (none)
    Hey, that's really hard to pronounce.

    I am I and you are you, and we are both each other too -- Clair Huffaker, The Cowboy and the Cossack

    by xysrl on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:26:15 AM PDT

  •  I come here for quality (none)
    Daily Kos has some of the best ideas and thought anywhere I have found. This site is more intelligent than cable news channels, more profound than the bobble heads that make the talk show rounds, and has a better view of what this country and party should be than most of those in power in the Democratic Party have. Insane conspiracy theories have no place on a site that promotes engaging thought provoking discussions. They take away from legitimacy of this site. I think Kos made the right move. This isn't a place to talk about unfounded theories.
  •  Would it be better (none)
    to put some kind of disclaimer on the front page saying "The views expressed on this site are not nec. those of Markos?"

    Just wondering...

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

    by poemless on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:28:23 AM PDT

  •  A problem (none)
    all over the place is controlling forums where anyone can join. It's not just dKos or political blogs... it can be a problem in baseball forums and I'm sure with topics most people would not even find controversial. The problem with dKos is/was at least partially scale: the number of wackos was large enough to significantly influence legitimate threads, on top of being a source of bad diaries.

    Ultimately, dKos aims at achieving tangible results... kos should do whatever he finds necessary to maintain the values of the community while still furthering the very real goals it has. He gives a lot of latitude, but there is no reason something that is absolutely false AND politically unacceptable should be allowed.

  •  Words (4.00)
    Goddamnit, but I have grown to hate the following words here at dKos, because 99% of the time some people use them without having a clue what they really mean.  They also use them along with the rest of their breathless hyperbole, rendering them meaningless.


    • groupthink

    • lockstep

    • fascism

    • centrist

    • censorship
  •  Thank you very much (none)
    In the last few days I've noticed that far fewer diaries are even interesting.  Everyone can guess about things they don't know.  But there isn't enough time and space for all those guesses.  I want to know more about and be connected to what's happening, not what someone imagines to be happening.

    The Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

    by DanielMN on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:39:04 AM PDT

  •  Well, you're the king. (4.00)
    Bad move, sire.
  •  All the bitchin about diaries (4.00)
    is making me wonder why they are even available.

    Either let people say what they want, how they want, or get rid of the opportunity to do so.

    Censorship is uglier than a few people whose reality doesn't match others.

    All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. ~Voltaire

    by TexH on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:46:37 AM PDT

  •  About time! (none)

    Would now you be listed as a co-conspirator, an enabler at :D
  •  never thought i'd see the day (4.00)
    this is a disturbing turn. i thought dKos was the one place where it's understood that the answer to offensive, incorrect, and/or stupid speech is more speech, not censorship. not purges.

    i can't believe what i'm hearing these days: the argument that people posting wacky ideas "reflect poorly" on the community and do "damage to The Cause." it's a sign of a community taking itself too seriously, in imminent danger of calcifying into an institution -- just another inert, useless, self-perpetuating structure that thinks it's greater than the sum of its human parts (see "democratic party"). god help the political movement that starts thinking of itself as "The Cause," and decides that "The Cause" needs to be defended against its own members.

    it's the height of irony that the justification being offered for this "purge" is that we don't want to end up like freerepublic, overrun with wackos. so in order to avoid looking like them, we're going to adopt their policies. we're going to forfeit the one independently verifiable bit of moral high ground we can legitimately claim: the moratorium on content-based banning. the base assumption that there can be more than one valid interpretation of the facts, that the majority view is not always correct. remember how we used to feel so superior to the party-line-towing freepers, free to speak openly, and content in the knowledge that if one of us said something truly outrageous, they'd be corrected and chastised (or troll-rated, as a last resort) by wiser members of the community? so much for the high ground. the wholesale purges have begun.

    the supreme irony is that virtually every sentiment or statement of fact posted, day in and day out, on the front page of this site, qualifies in the eyes of the mainstream media and much of the general public as grade-A, outer-fringe, bug-eyed, area-51, conspiracy bullshit. that's what they say about us when we talk about plame, about gannon, about gitmo and abu ghraib, and about anything involving the implication, however remote, that bush hasn't been entirely straight with us. doesn't kos get it? we're the radical fringe! does he think the key to mainstream legitimacy is to identify and ferret out elements the world will deem even crazier than himself? if this is kos' big plan for getting taken seriously by the rest of the world, i wish him lots o' luck.

    irony upon irony. as recent posts have noted, our counterparts (our mirror images?) on the right are increasingly in a mood to "round up" and rid themselves of disharmonious elements: in their case, muslims, liberals, democrats, the french, and anybody else they consider a "traitor." it's a sentiment that seems to be catching.

    "Patriot: he who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about." -Mark Twain

    by buffalobreath on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:51:48 AM PDT

    •  Bingo (4.00)
      the answer to offensive, incorrect, and/or stupid speech is more speech, not censorship. not purges.

      Thanks for articulating this so eloquently. I agree completely.

    •  The calcification into an institution... (none)
      ...started when Markos and the front-pagers in this "reality based community" positively and absolutely refused to see and acknowledge the mountainous dung heap of data and evidence of a black water rotten election in 2004.

      ...the failure of some of the powerful in the dKos community to see the crime resulted in a strangling of the voices here who so often cried out eloquently for the truth to be heard and at the very least an honest investigation to be conducted.  Georgia10 provided an astounding and outstanding reply to "Armandos Challenge".  For our efforts...we became "fraudsters".

      ...Like John Kerry keeping  his political options open(he believes)by not raising the kind of stink that Yushcenko did in the Ukraine election (that overturned and election and exposed the fraud)I believe Markos and the powers-that-be at dKos are deluding themselves as to where the light comes from that used to makes this site unique.

      "Anyone who isn't a conspiracy theorist these days isn't paying attention." -Paul Revere

      by Blue Shark on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:39:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And this is what, only 40-50k people? (none)
      Imagine trying to build unity and support in states with millions of voters. They'd need an office just to decide minute by minute "we want your vote, we don't want your vote, we want his vote, we don't want that vote."

      Thanks for illuminating just how things work out here in the real world. Welcome to disillusionment.

  •  site traffic and postings (none)
    it is not surprising to find that the quality of postings would be declining as the site traffic picks up

    The majority of Americans (perhaps) exist within a post-literate coma/haze of TV Neverland and the cognative dissonance spun by the corporate-governmental power nexus

    perhaps some are awakening

    Care should be taken that we not silence or turn off people who may be dis- or mis- informed

    Trolls exist
    Ignorance exists
    Guidlines exist
    Democracy must be participatory for it to be real

    "There is no limit to what you can do if you have the power to change the rules." via Josh Marshall

    by grollen on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:54:04 AM PDT

  •  Hey Kos, (none)
    If any of those member numbers were lower than mine could I swap out?

    You know, there could be a market of status in those banned ID's


    (note to the sarcasm impaired: This is an example of sracastic humor)

    The GOP and the Elephant are both Introduced Species

    by roboton on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:58:47 AM PDT

  •  I knew it! (none)
    Kos was one of them all day long.  He's been working with Karl Rove and Kim Jong Il to get us all in to labor camps where we can make fur coats for Lil' Kim and Gwen Stefani!

    Damn you KOS!!!!!!!!!!!


    Whoa, before you hit the purge button, all you would have had to do is ask.  I would have clubbed the Chinchillas.


    Ok, you're right.  It's embarrassing and people who are really putting forward these theories are morons and don't need to share our electronic air.

    Then again, wouldn't it be interesting if they were all trolls from RedState and Powerline all trying to make us look crazy?

    Ok, I'll stop.

    Good Stuff though.

    The difference between people like me and the REAL conspiracy theorist is a little think called intentional irony.

    Ah... sad for the crazy people, but entertaining for the rest of us.

    Remember, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that Kos isn't out to ban you!


    Ok, I'm done now for real.

  •  Where the conspiracists went wrong (none)
    was saying Bush and Blair planned it.  Obviously Bush acted alone to get the focus off Blair's G8 agenda on global warming and Africa and back to terrorism, where it belongs.
  •  so much for kos (none)
    it is no better than free republic now.
  •  DKos Patriot Act of 2005 (4.00)
    I say here, here!  I was glad to see that our benevolent leadership has finally recognized the danger posed by so-called "participants" with fringe views.  Good riddance, I say, to those have been banned.  It is high time that the Republic of Dkos (where all posters are equal, though some are more equal than others) recognized that it is at war for the soul of the American Republic.  At such a time of danger, we must not shrink from the terrible duties that have fallen to us.  To that end, we can't allow ourselves to be distracted by sentimental principles such as free-exchange of ideas or the notion of an intellectual marketplace where views succeed or fail, not through fiat, but through their full and open airing. After all, our leadership has access to knowledge to which we are not privy; they have the clearer insight of born of the front page, where distinctions between what is reasonable and unreasonable are vouchsafed them by sources unknown and unknowable.  Indeed our enemies are everywhere, and lie in wait so that they may cast scorn upon us for the fringe views they find here.  Thus, to win this battle against those who despise openness, we must likewise guard ourselves against the dangerous lures of such openness.  But I say, why stop there?  There are many other fifth "columnists" who lurk here at Kos.  Some have even dared question certain editorial policies, and their enforcement, that our lawgivers have provided us so that we may learn discipline and temperance.  Don't these Kos haters realize that we can only win the battles before us if we are united?  Don't they realize that such dissent only plays into the hands of the enemy?  Our foes cannot be allowed to win, and therefore we must show no mercy to those among us who stray from this shining path, and those who tempt others with unreason" and frivolity. Thus, it is that I hail the decision of our leadership.   It is nothing less that the purity of our precious Blog fluids that is at stake.
  •  Ugh (none)
    I sat on the sideline of the Great Pie War in total amazement.  I witnessed the angst following Armando's July Diary Axing in silent disbelief.  And now I get to spectate at the complete emotional meltdown of the community upon the banning of the dKos Conspiracy Theorists (440 comments in this diary already as I write...  damn, I have to start taking an earlier lunch!).

    A question for my fellow Kossacks:  Are you embarrassed yet?

    Gonna take hard work. Gonna have to work hard.

    by AriesMoon on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:11:49 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for cleaning house, Markos. (none)
    (Posted in Open Thread earlier as I wasn't able to comment when this diary first appeared...IE problem?)

    I recently met a retired journalist/editor (local DC papers as well as USA Today). While discussing the sad state of political and journalistic affairs, I asked how much he knew about blogging. He was familiar with what it was but hadn't spent any time reading them. I wrote on a piece of paper along with my email address and asked if he'd take a look at the site, give me his professional opinion of the most influential political site on the net.

    I was immediately embarrassed I'd done so as things have been getting here. I would have like to have him log on and see the site of a few months ago, the one I used to head to every morning as the espresso machine warmed up, the one that gave me hope there was intelligent life left on planet USA.

    Hopefully things settle down now you've pulled out  the paddle.

  •  I Don't Like This At All (4.00)
    But it's your site and you can do whatever you want with it.
    I can understand finding out who the trolls and moles are and eliminating them but purging people because they post about conspiracy theories?

    I'll tell you one thing.
    After this event, you can no longer say you are for free speech.

    BTW, I believe that Bush allowed Sept 11th to happen so that he could benefit politically.

    Am I a conspiracy nut?

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. John F. Kennedy

    by daimon on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:31:30 PM PDT

    •  I don't know about "conspiracy nut" (none)
      But "nut," yeah, that I'd vote for. Spare me the sanctimonious bullshit about freedom of speech. The First Amendment only means that the government can't censor your opinions--it says nothing about what the owner of a private website can or cannot do. All of us are here at Kos' sufferance. We can say whatever the hell we want, as long as he agrees to let us. And we have absolutely zero recourse if he chooses to exercise his right to ban or censor us.

      All that said, I've been here for a year and a half now, and I've seen an awful lot of truly ghastly stuff posted to this site, without even a murmr out of Kos. He has been incredibly patient, even as all manner of abuse is flying at him--from the wingnuts who threatened his family, right up to all you pathetic little wankers whining that you finally got busted for stepping over the line.

      Perhaps a mass banning was the wrong road to take. But I, for one, think it's high time something was done about the loonier fringes around here. Kos has my support for this decision.

  •  Lack of sensitivity by the conspiracy buffs (4.00)
    I am one myself, I love a good conspiracy theory tale, but I didn't engage on CTs yesterday. Although I wouldn't put it past Bushies to do something like that I stayed silent. Now it is not the time for this idle musings.

    I didn't think it was appropriate to post something on that area , neither here or on my personal blog. It was innapropriate for 3 reasons:

    • There is absolute NO indication of it being anything but a horrible terrorist act
    • Put yourself in a brit's shoes: the last thing they want to hear after a day like that is that their own government did it
    • It reflects really bad on the blog who hosts this musings. It shows us more worried about politics and hating Bush than about the british people.

    That being said, I am really sad it had to come to mass purges. I hope kos reconsiders and makes it just a "time out" for the banned posters, allowing them to return after a cool off period. People react to events like that in all kinds of different ways. They should at least get a chance to redeem themselves.

    When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

    by lawnorder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:34:42 PM PDT

  •  Is this Markos? (4.00)

    Monday | July 08, 2002

    Ashcroft at an 'undisclosed location'?
    Boy. When the Bushies muzzle someone, they mean business. One little politically motivated announcement of a three-week old arrest, and next thing you know, he's been exiled to Siberia.

    If only we were so lucky. I'm a big fan of seeing my enemies out in the open. "That's why I oppose all forms of censorship -- let the bigots and subversives play in the open where I can keep my eye on them. "

    I can't imagine what evil scheme Ashcroft is hatching in some dark dungeon, but whatever it is, it terrifies me. - ??

    I like the 2002 version of censorship better, the kookoo theories don't hurt anyone (except advertisers maybe)
    Posted July 08, 2002 10:07 PM | Comments (1)

  •  testing (none)
    Since I was one who recommended some of the diaries that
    were the center of the controversy (not because I believe all the claims, but because I regarded the debate as healthy), I thought
    I would say my piece.

    Kos has every right to control the content of his site as he sees fit.  If people want to discuss the possible complicity, or simple
    coverup of the Bush Administrations' screwups, there are, of course, other debate formats.

    That said, I do believe that what has occured to justify the war on terror and the pretext for war in Iraq is much deeper than
    most suspect, and certainly deeper than what the MSM has
    managed to report.  This will likely be revealed in the near future, with or without the debate here.  That we are heading into a major energy crisis like one we've never experienced, referred to a peak oil, will likely precipitate a realization of the Bush Administrations real intentions in Iraq.

    Although I enjoyed hearing the alternative perspectives in these diaries, I can certainly find them elsewhere.  This forum provides
    a tremendous service to the progressive community with or without the "conspiracist" content control.  I will continue to visit
    the site for one of the best forums on the web.

  •  testing (none)
    Since I was one who recommended some of the diaries that
    were the center of the controversy (not because I believe all the claims, but because I regarded the debate as healthy), I thought
    I would say my piece.

    Kos has every right to control the content of his site as he sees fit.  If people want to discuss the possible complicity, or simple
    coverup of the Bush Administrations' screwups, there are, of course, other debate formats.

    That said, I do believe that what has occured to justify the war on terror and the pretext for war in Iraq is much deeper than
    most suspect, and certainly deeper than what the MSM has
    managed to report.  This will likely be revealed in the near future, with or without the debate here.  That we are heading into a major energy crisis like one we've never experienced, referred to a peak oil, will likely precipitate a realization of the Bush Administrations real intentions in Iraq.

    Although I enjoyed hearing the alternative perspectives in these diaries, I can certainly find them elsewhere.  This forum provides
    a tremendous service to the progressive community with or without the "conspiracist" content control.  I will continue to visit
    the site for one of the best forums on the web.

  •  I'm not sure it was the right way to go (none)
    I would have liked to have seen the theories disputed, and gone down because of that.  I understand why people might belive in Bush doing such a thing, because terror seems to be a huge help to him, even though I don't think he had anything to do with the bombings. I would want to see fact-based reasons for any beliefs, not gut feetings.
  •  Whats the difference? (4.00)
    Recently, I have been fairly disgusted with the path that this site is heading down. I have been noticing a great deal of "censorship" as of late. I understand it is kos' site and he and those he trusts have the ability to delete diaries and or ban users. But I think anything described as a "Purge", is a little bit to much. Maybe I never understood the purpose of dkos to begin with; which I thought was a forum for "open source" democratic politics.

    Maybe my definition of open source politics is different. Or maybe my definition of a conspiracy theory is different. Definitions are important, because a large portion of "acceptable" diaries on this site could be defined as conspiratorial in nature, by right wing ideologues or even average joe types. Check the recomended list, Congressman Conyers diary asks for a timeline of Bush Administration actions up to the war, specifically looking for evidence of fixed intelligence. The President lies and it ends up in the death of close to 2000 military personnel, thousands badly injured, and billions of tax payer dollars sunk into the sand and the pockets of corporations linked to administartion officials. Sound like a wacked out conspiracy theory?

    Another example, the possible Rove-CIA leak. Kos himself posts on the front page, "There can't possibly be any good reason for the WH press corps silence on the issue. None. " What are you suggesting? An unholy alliance between the White House and the press to suppress damaging information about a White House staff member? sounds like a grade A conspiracy. We have no proof Rove did anything wrong, besides the words of Lawrence O'Donnell. Whats the difference between unacceptable theories and those that are frontpaged? personal political views?

     I ackknowledge that the diaries deleted may have been completely unsupported and off the mark, but isnt the community supposed to police itself? Let us see the trash, if it truly is, and decide for ourselves. isnt that what open source is all about?

    •  what you are missing (none)

      Is the fact that, now that he is big and attracts a lot of media attention, some of the conspiracy theory or quesitonable posts are a) being linked to and used to discredit the site, and b) may be trolls trying to make the site look bad.

      Unfortunaltely, it is not just a free speech issue, he has to deal with the fact that some people post here in order to sabotage the site or progressives

      •  Yeah, but (none)
        Some of the truths we now hold to be self-evident about the lies leading up to the invasion of Iraq were treated as crackpot by the traditional media in 2002.

        If you don't have the "nutcase" diaries positing that the administration was lying in a way more audacious than any administration in history, do you ever get attention on the story so it develops into something?

        I can certainly see these troll plants in 2002 putting up diaries about how Bush lied about WMD's and how there aren't any to be found in Iraq since the media represented us as being all convinced there were weapons in Iraq.

        And I, I, I, I - turn up the radio. Lies, lies and propaganda. I - gonna tell you what I need. Life, life without surrender

        by nightsweat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:37:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The point is (none)
          (so far as I can tell) not to ban all discussion of conspiracies at all.

          Markos believes in several conspiracies, at least.

          The point is that if you are speculating about a conspiracy, or promoting others who do, you have an obligation to either:

          a) cite some documented facts that lend credence to your assertions


          b) recognize that you are engaging in rank speculation and that therefore

          b-sub1) especially if it is inflammatory and not backed up by any real investigation -
          b-sub2) and most especially if you are nasty to those who challenge you to back up your claims - b-sub3) people here will come down on you

          (unless, of course, the suggestions made by some of creating a 'tin-foil annex' are carried out - Markos is possibly open to trying that as a way of keeping the boundaries porous instead of mean and spiny)

          I had to destroy my tinfoil hat because it was beaming coded messages into my brain.

          by stevelu on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:39:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Did Kos 'disappear' the offending diary ? (none)
    If so, it makes it difficult for the rest of us to read, think, judge and compare the reality of what was presented in it,  with his tirade and so-far vague assertions about some phantom diary no one can even refer to see if what he claims here has merit or is completely off-base.

    I would like to see for myself what precisely Kos is referring to in this obscenity-laced invective, and know what statements and the full context to which he is reacting so emotionally against.

  •  Guilty (I think) (4.00)
    I guess I'm one of the unwashed traitors who had the gall -- the unmitigated temerity! -- to recommend someone else's opinion.

    I say "I guess" because I got no warning, no email, no notification, no nothing. I just couldn't post anymore, and I sent Markos an email, and now I can post again. The worst part was not even being able to defend myself because I couldn't post.

    So what exactly did I do wrong? Well, I'm not sure because I got no explanation, but I think it's because I recommended the "wrong" diary. I didn't even believe everything in the diary, but I thought some of it was thought-provoking and worthy of discussion. Maybe "worthy of discussion" now actually means "something the advertisers and DNC muckety-mucks won't disapprove of."

    Look, I realize this is Markos' site and he can run it however he wants. And if he runs me out of here again because I expressed an unpopular opinion (or simply recommended one), then so be it. Banning people because of unpopular opinions smacks of Freeperism if you ask me, but no one asked.

    This is still my favorite place on the net, but I think I'll be looking at it in a new light. Thanks for removing my rose-colored glasses, Big Brother. I'll be careful from now on to only enjoy opinions that are officially endorsed.

    I got banned for recommending someone else's opinion

    by Pompatus on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:02:01 PM PDT

    •  Update (none)
      I did get an email explanation from Markos, so thank you for the follow-up. I still disagree with your reasoning, but I appreciate the explanation.

      I got banned for recommending someone else's opinion

      by Pompatus on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:18:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You make a good point (none)
      The people accused of being conspiracists cannot defend themselves if they can't post...

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

      by poemless on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:30:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Chilled (none)
      I think the ban against you was complete crap.  I kind of think that the free exchange of ideas is a pretty good thing.  Even loony ideas.  They get shot down in their own good time.

      I thought dKos was a place that followed that principle (speak your mind).  I'm sorry to learn it is not.  I can tell you, I'm a little hesitant to post my thoughts right now.  I feel kind of like a radical progressive living in an all-Republican country, or something.  You know that feeling.  Where you are a little worried if you speak what you feel in the gut, someone might hussle you off to Gitmo.

      "Have you no sense of decency, sir. At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" -- Boston Attorney Joe Welch, taking down Sen. Joe McCarthy.

      by BostonJoe on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:40:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What did the diaries say? (none)
      My interest is peaked because I was one who until last Monday poo-pooed conspiracy theories. After 4 days of research I can came to the firm conclusion that the conspiracy theory is that abunch of people hijacked some planes and the World Trade towers came down and Saddam was responsible.

      One you grasp the unspeakable alternative, you simply can't assume we didn't also bomp London. At this point anything is possible.

      So my question which Alex seems to have answered is, are we really banning someone who thinks Bush and Blair are behind the London attacks, because that is no longer very far fetched in my mind.

  •  crap filters (none)
    just so you know, I don't use tinfoil ;)

    I have adjusted my crap filter to resonate with your new policy.

    I find that this practice is very helpfull when reading other sources of information.


  •  In dangerous times like these (4.00)
    we must be prepared to sacrifice some of our freedoms in the name of security.


    On second thought, no, fuck that.

  •  Conspiracies happen (none)
    They happen in a country run by dishonest people. Maybe the difference here would be trying to convince others that a particular theory is true, as opposed to public musings?

    Look, this site is doing it's share of theorizing. We don't know Judith Miller is guilty, but that hasn't stopped a slew of front-paged speculation on the matter. Same with Rove.

    And the media. How much dissing of media sources happens around here?

    The less trust people have of leadership and news sources the more likely they are to invent motives. I can tell you I have deep distrust of both media and the leadership, and this site is a large part of the reason why.

    If people are flying off the handle, I think that kos should use his voice to call BS where he sees it. Are users being irrational? Front page it. After all, an allegation that goes unchallenged, might as well be true. In this case, I think the high-tolerance he mentions is the biggest part of the problem.

    I would say this site generally needs to do a better job of calling the left on BS as well as the right.

    Truth doesn't take sides

    by KingJames on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:36:05 PM PDT

  •  OK... (none)
    *Looks at name of site*

    *Looks at name of diarist*

    Sounds OK to me...

    ITSALONGWAYTOGO when you don't know where you're going; you don't where you're going when you're lost...

    by Omen on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:42:11 PM PDT

    I think it is realistic to go into defensive mode.  I wouldn't apologize for protecting your site, at least until they give up.  I think it is wise, considering the who the apostles consider their savior.

    I've removed my links, and hopefully because I'm nobody they won't bother.  C and J was phishing for addresses.

    Sad, really...

    "Here's your damn fireball, Adella..." Rags

    by rosabw on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:47:26 PM PDT

  •  Obviously, the problem... (none)
    Isn't that the opinions were written.  You go through the diaries and there is a lot of stupid crap.

    the problem was that they got recommended and as such took out serious diaries with important points from the recommended list.

    Kos' real complaint here is just that these people showed poor judgement.

  •  I totally support your decision (none)
    I come here for information, and discussion, not fantastic speculation.
  •  We have the DU for the fringe theory shit (none)
    if we wanted it, we would be there, not here.

    Just curious though, why the London bombings have prompted bannings now, when we have had years of Bush and/or the Mossad were behind 9/11, and that the Pentagon was hit by a missile and not a plane shit, that have gone on without bannings in the past.

    Just curious as to why this threshold has changed?


    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:13:33 PM PDT

    •  This is the first time (none)
      I've ever seen a thread in which the majority of posters expressed some level of belief in the absurd theories.  Usually, the people trying to sell theories like this are heavily outnumbered.  But in one of the threads--the one where the diarist named a bunch of "conspiracies" in American history, and basically said "why not this one?"--there was almost no one challenging the theories.  This might be one reason for the change in policy.
  •  Thank you (none)
    Thank you, KOS, for hosting this terrific place to share ideas.  I'm glad that you voiced your concern, and I will respect your wishes.  Your goal of a reality-based community is inspiring.

    What you have built here is evolving so far and so fast, it is breathtaking.  It must feel at times like you're surfing on a tidal wave.

  •  What a wierd couple of days (none)
    Judith Miller goes to jail; Armando defends Judith Miller and believes she is right to refuse to testify in a possible criminal/treason case; AQ could have, might have, would have liked to be the ones who bombed London, and conspiracy theories are bad and are banned.

    Whooooeeeee.  I will have to think about this for a while.  There is something afoote in this country and the world that bodes no good.

  •  Lee Harvey Oswald didn't kill JFK! (none)
    That is a true statement!

    If that makes me a crazy loon, than I'm a crazy loon.

    Am I Banned?

    Hope not, but I'm a crazy loon.

    Cause Qswald didn't do it.

    •  Thank you for saying this... (none)
      ... of course Kennedy's assassination was part of a conspiracy ... all the evidence points to it ... many have called the Warren Commission Report a work of fiction.  

      That is the trouble with this country.  We still don't know who killed JFK, and at this point, we don't care.  Americans don't actually want to know the truth about their country.  That's what I think.  Big denial going down all around.  

      May all beings be free from fear.

      by shakti on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 07:01:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I got some problems (none)
    My favorite conspiracty theorists:

    Mort Sahl:

    (This interview was conducted at the Hungry i in San Francisco on Monday, March 18th, 1968)
    Mort Sahl Interview

    ARGO: Why is the truth behind the assassination of President Kennedy the last chance of America for its survival?

    SAHL: Because the evidence developed by District Attorney Garrison indicates that certain people had to take President Kennedy's life in order to control ours. In other words, as Richard Starnes of the New York World-Telegram said, the shots in Dallas were the opening shots of World War III. There's been a great change in this country since Kennedy. I'm afraid a great deal of our hope was interred with his remains.

    Pierre Sallinger:

    Flight 800: Accident Or Terrorist Attack? - Part 3
    Bogey At Seven O'Clock: Report Supports Missile Theory But Not 'Friendly Fire'

    By Joey Mac Lellan for Suffolk Life Newspapers
    December 16, 1998
    Most of the evidence collected by the National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicates that TWA Flight 800 was destroyed by one or more heat-seeking Stinger missiles, according to Commander William S. Donaldson, USN (Retired), the author of the revised 124-page "Interim Report on the Crash of TWA Flight 800 and the Action of the NTSB and the FBI."

    and me:

    Censorship of the News in America:  Google Shuts Off Uruknet

    On the "Reality Based" Issue:

    For 30 days I fought for the use of the term "minutes" and not "memo" to describe the July 23, 2003 minutes of the Prime Minister's meeting, a meeting that was minuted by Matthew Rycroft.  It was not pretty, but I stuck to it.  

    Sometime in the first week of June Congressman Conyers, Senator Kennedy, John Bonifaz, Ray McGovern and a whole lot of other people used the word "minutes" exclusively to describe these documents.  Yet here on dKos repeatedly I was attacked for being devisive in using the correct term, and attacked personally and told to "Get with the reality based community"  

    I was also told repeatedly that it was the content that was important and not the name that was used and that it wouldn't matter if they were called "fuzzy wuzzy war words" or "Downing Street Underpants."

    I was told by one of these people that I should remove a graphic from one of my pieces because it offended their sensibilites of what was appropriate.  In that graphic, accompanying an article by Michael Smith (UK) on the Downing Street Memo and the real news containded within it ("Smoking Bullet in the Smoking Gun), I referred to "Deep Throat," being Smith's friend who brought him six memos in 200  On that diary I was told that one of the group that was attacking me that Michael Smith was the "Deep Throat" of our time.  Here's for your "reality base" and your "group think" (yes, I have used that term)

    On the Banning of Kossacks

    I recently held a dKos Diary wake for one of the banned.  He was a ranter and a classic conspiracy theorist.  Should he have been banned?  Dunno.  Should he have been warned?  Definitely.  Did he make contact and correct himself?  No.  Would I make contact and correct myself?  Definitely.


    The biggest problem is that there are too many diaries going by too fast.  And some of the best ones are going unread and unrecommended.  Meta diaries are getting 400+ comments, and news diaries are going by, and getting repeated.

    You need a proper editorial board, and not an ad hoc committee to come sweeping in to tear diarists a new one.  You need real diary cops as nice as MaryScottO'Connor and Diary Cop, who visited me when I was young and I turned myself in.  I just didn't know any better.

    Armando has come down on me like a ton of bricks (just once) and I deleted immediately.  He has also helped me (twice) to clarify rules and keep to the dKos standards.  Armando is excellent.

    You need to include as rule five the definition of "Reality Based"

    "Reality-based community" is used to suggest that the person takes an objective and empirical view of events.  The term has been defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from their judicious study of discernible reality."

    And maybe a reference to Ron Suskind's original article where the term was first coined would be helpful.  A dictionary would be very helpful.  Wikipedia is helpful.

    Meta Diaries should not be allowed on the Recommended List.  They should go to their own space, where they can be recommended.  That will free the traffic for news and views, and give new diarists a chance.

    In Conclusion

    I feel that dKos is a privilege, not a right.  I also feel strongly that it must be run democratically.  One person, one voice, one vote.  Banning is not going to work in a mass purge, although the way you did it, with recourse to come back and mend one's ways is very good.  I read "New Republic" and other extreme right blogs, even comment on them.  But I mind my manners when I do.  I would hope that right wing Republicans would be exptended the same courtesy here.

    Since this comment is too long to deal with, it's off to diary land.  These days there are so many diaries that it won't get read, and can't make the recommends, so I won't worry about clogging up dKos traffic.  Thanks for the forum, Kos.  Sorry for all the aggravation and time it must have taken you to clean it up.

    Who controls the media, controls the fates.

    by Apian on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:42:37 PM PDT

  •  Maybe this real issue is this: (none)
    We have been given tools to self-moderate this blog: TU, recommend buttons, ratings, etc.

    The assumption is that the posters here agree to be held to a higher standard and can be relied upon to elevate the level of debate and weed out the crap using these tools.

    While not everyone agrees about what constitutes a frontpage-worthy diary or a troll-worthy rating, the traffic on this blog and the  efficacy of the activism here attests to the fact that these tools basically work.  The quality dips and peaks but remains overall better than just about anything else out there that is comparable in format.

    When you took it upon yourself to ban people, you were basically saying that we are no longer able to effectively police ourselves.  (Perhaps that's true, given the recent piefights...)  But the message sent is that your judgement is, in effect, better than ours.  When in fact, I think it is just different than ours, because you have more on the line than we do.

    I suspect some amount of panic about the reputation of this blog was a factor.  That is, some emotion was involved in making the decision to ban.  

    I do hope this was a one time thing.  Because while you don't want the reputation for being homebase for wackos, true or not, you also don't want the reputation, true or not, for not allowing dissenting veiws.  Both could discredit and weaken this site.  

    But I guess it is up to you to decide if this blog is supposed to be an organic, group effort, shining light of truth, justice, and the American way, or if this blog is going to be a disciplined partisan message machine.  Goodness knows we could use both.  But I am ot sure you effectively do both at the same time.  Though it sure looks like you are trying.  (If it works the DParty should hire you yesterday.)

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

    by poemless on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:16:23 PM PDT

  •  it's your site, babe (none)
    do what you gotta do.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:10:29 PM PDT

  •  Brilliant (none)
    And your mother, by your incisive intellect in arguing your well-thought out points.

    "Have you no sense of decency, sir. At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" -- Boston Attorney Joe Welch, taking down Sen. Joe McCarthy.

    by BostonJoe on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 05:34:50 PM PDT

  •  is there a list of who got clipped ??? (none)
    and do the people who handled the contract get bumped up ???
  •  I guess this means (none)
    it will be a few more months before I am again accused of being a neocon on "Murdock"'s payroll (I didn't even know Daredevil owned any media outlets).
  •  Why the Republican Party exists. (none)
    Have you ever wondered why the Republican party still exists after it has waged war on the middle class for half a century? It has something to do with this "controversy". You see, a typical middle class american would rather be dead than to see these left wing kooks anywhere near the halls of power. Kos's retort is of the same tenor of a life-long democrat voting for reagan in 1980. It really is that simple, and I hope some day that feeling includes the right-wing kooks as well.
  •  Some alternatives (none)
    If we're going to get embarrassed about what can be posted on the site, there are a number of options to deal with this. (All of them involve labeling all non-FP material as "readers opinions" with a disclaimer.)

    1) Get rid of the diaries entirely, and allow comments in reply to the main page threads, but call them "Letters to the Editor". No-one blames the newspaper for the opinions expressed in the LTEs. Then you've got complete editorial control. Or...

    2) Farm the diaries/community off to a different site and keep dKos pristine. (Similar to TalkingPointsMemo and TPM Cafe.) Promote excellent diaries from the "farm team" to the "front page" of dKos as "guest commentary". Comments to the diaries on dKos are still LTEs. This moves the editorial function for "recommended diaries" from the community to FP staff.

    3) Continue to allow diaries on dKos but only allow them to be posted by "trusted users". If you do this, change the formula so mojo doesn't age out like it does now. Accumulated mojo would only get diminished by bad ratings. Think about eliminating ratings in the "mojo factory" of C&J. You might want to consider only allowing rating ability to "trusted users" (of which there is a sufficient pool now to seed the system). This lessens but does not eliminate the potential for "embarrassing diaries".

    4) Leave the site as is, but disclaimer everything that is not "Front Page" material as "Readers' Commentary" or LTEs. And stop being embarrassed by what gets posted by the rabble.  Your enemies are going to use it against you in any case, even if it is LTEs. It's what they do.

    Although I generally trust Kos to do the right thing with regards to diary deletion and bannings, it concerns me that he is still broadbrush-tarring those who did the hard work on the voting irregularities as "fraudsters" (or at least lumping them in an in general discrediting them. I know he respects Georgia10's work, but she gets tarred with the same brush.) It saddens me that even discussion of the topic is so beyond the pale that it is seen as an embarassment to the site. I think a lot of good investigation will be stalled on the wayside because of the chilling effect of this attitude. That's our loss.

    "They may agree that failure isn't an option, but this does not mean they will necessarily avoid it." - David Manning re: BushCo in DSM

    by DavidW in SF on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:57:20 PM PDT

  •  So what's the new rule? (none)

    Are you banning anything that suggest the Bush administration orchestrated 9-11?  And if not, those of us who are convinced of US gov't complicity in the attacks on 911, cannot just accept that REAL terrorists ( in the traditional sense, you know Muslim fanatic, Jihad etc ) were responsible for the London bombings.

    What IS your position on gov't involvment in 911?


  •  Here is one method of proof (none)
    Sometimes there is a simple method of proof to solve a problem that seems complex beyond understanding.

    Do the actions of entity indict it?

    OBL is being hunted to the ground because he has admitted bombing the WTC and Pentagon. The Taliban have been overthrown and still he claims responsibility.

    Hussein claimed to have provided all the information he had to the UN under the treat of invasion. After the invasion and capture, has he changed his story?

    Bush gave Hussein the opportunity to flee the country before to avoid an invasion. Did Hussein flee?

    So I conclude that OBL was behind 9/11, Hussein did not know or control all of what was going on with his WMD program, and Bush did not jury-rig the war.

    You can come back and say, "They were all bluffing for XYZ", but in the end, does it matter? Are we concerned with some eternal truth in politics or are we concerned about actions and consequences. Politics is an art, not a science. If a political entity is willing to burn on the stake based on a commitment to a decision, then so be it. Our actions determine the truth of politics, not our imaginations and rationalizations.

    What is the value of a promise? It is worth what action it is backed by. Words without action are meaningless in politics. In the mean, people vote or fight based on something that has been proven to them by action. The rest is noise.

    •  R U replying to me? (none)
      I'm new on this blog.
      •  No (none)
        I was replying to the theme of questions posed by the top-level post.

        It is a philosophical question. What is truth? And also, How should we act?

        This is a political site, so it seems to me that conspiracies are determined by the lack of primary cause-effect and that a good policy to weed out the noise of people spouting unconstructive nonsense is to measure the utility of the information to predict future actions.

        The fact that there is a problem weeding out nuts is due in part to our inability to think effectively. If we did, we would rate nuts as trolls and that would take care of the matter. We could even rate people well if they brought up good points that we hadn't considered before although we might disagree.

        This is a virtual community. While some few might make friends, most just come here for the quality of information and to give their brain something to mull over.

        •  On Truth (none)
          I don't think anyone on this board has a corner on truth, but we can ask questions, submit hypotheticals and follow lines of reasoning.

          For example.   There has been no positive identification of any of the commercial airliners involoved in 911.  There aren't even any pictures of the plane that crashed in the field in PA, and yet we recontructed every piece of the Pan Am Scotland plane that blew up at 35 thousand feet.

          Since these are the first four airplanes ever in history of the US to crash in the US that were not positivily identified, one can pursue at least two scenarios.

          1. Its a coverup
          2. hmmmm.  I can't think of anything else.

          You can kick me off this board for suggesting we don't know the truth, but it won't change the fact of missinf facts.
          •  Partial Agreement (none)
            Agree with 1st para, disagree with rest.

            We don't lose aircraft with that many people on board by magic. We had cell phone call, etc. I understand that the black box in PA was found also.

            So just think, how would so many different people happen to get on planes and disappear? There is not enough control in our entire society to stage something like that.

            Sure, some incredible things happen once in a while, but to design something with so many independent parts to achieve a certain purpose in advance? The chances are infintesmal.

            The more interesting question, is out of the infinite number of possiblities with this probability, how does one arrive at this particular scenario? The common factor tends to be the individual, not the observation.

            •  Where are the planes? (none)
              Thats EXACTLY where I was a year ago when I first heard the "conspiracy theories", so I left it alone.

              I know it tough to wrap your brain around what then DID happen to the planes.  It sucks big time.

              Then I saw David Griffen on C-Span talking about his book 911 Commission, Ommision and Distortions. And I though to myself, "Wow, C-Span wouldn't allow a nut bag on the air", and I listened, not to the alternative theories, but the picture painted by the Ommisions and Distortions.  This man essentially accused the administration of murder.  So I spent 4 days pouring over all the Internet sites and VERY reluctantly, came to the same inescapable conclusion as of yesterday.  I think you will reach the same comclusion to if you do the work.

              Even my biggest bush hating friends don't believe it, because we don't want it to be true, but I'm here to tell you, it is. Do the work.

              The behavior of people when confronted with this is really quite interesting.

              You, for example, with all your sharp logic, and intellect, refuse respond to the question, why no planes?

              Today, there is a tremendous amount of evidence of a serious cover up, and the movement is growing not shrinking.

              I am very sorry to be the one to tell you.  This will devastate the country, right and left.

              PS: re: the cell phone calls. Almost all have been shown to be fakes. Its out there go decide for yourself

              PSS: I am an extremely sober, education, fair-minded person with the kind of reputation in my community that precludes me from even being able to announce my conclusion, so don't make the mistake of writing me off.


  •  Conspiracy? (none)
    Jeezus!  This whole melee is pretty damned stunning!  Whatever.  Let me side with those that think that the wildest "conspiracy theory" is the mainstream presentation of the London attack, you know that "al Qaeda" (which means "the database") is behind it, and that "al Qaeda" is this militant Islamic group set on removing westerners from the middle east.

    While something calling itself "al Qaeda" might've claimed responsibility (in order to tar arabs again), it's pure folly to wave off anyone not sharing the administration/media spin of who these guys are.  I don't know about anyone else here but I'm getting damned tired of the bogus theater of all of this, you know, Spain being on the verge of electing leaders that would remove their troop from Iraq get bombed in Madrid, two days after the British MoD announces plans to pull it's troops from Iraq London gets bombed?  Italy just announced it's on the verge of pulling it's troops and so they'll likely be hit (wait for it).

    How is any of this thinking delusional?  What's delusional is the unhinged acceptance that the crap we're being as "reality".  For Khrist's sake Kos, has the fact that these clowns went to war with Iraq (at a loss so far of over 8000 American soldier and well over 100,000 innocent Iraqis) under the guise of a shitstorm of lies been lost on you?  You think that these assholes are too civilized to attack their own allies, just to keep them in the game? If so, you might want to think long and hard about what "reality based" means to you, because you've clamped on a pair of blinders that won't allow you to think about "the unthinkable" despite the treachery that has repeatedly raised it's head in American history. The entire "al Qaeda" myth is textbook yellow journalism but you insist that we all close our eyes to that possibility?  Whatever Kos, whatever.  It's your ball, take it and go home if that's how the game has to be played.

    •  This is why I like this place (none)
      Great post from this one! he made some great points here. Don't forget the reporters that were also bombed and killed. Why they doing this? So they've kiledl and maimed people to shut them up? What about us? Can we vanish in the night? I never thought like that in all my life. I do now! An older lady who was a war protestor in the 60's said never in her wildest dreams had she ever thought this would be happening in America. She ended her conversation with "be careful"! So I guess I'm not the only one who worries about all this.

      We are in very serious trouble. The homeland security b.s just swept the nation this past week. It now gives even more power to the police. That week a baby was killed when a man used her for a sheild. The thing is that it took 300 bullets! Search Alex Jones and you will git a dose of reality.

      Let's watch and see if bigisland boy was right about where the next attack is.

  •  Smells like freeperland (none)
    It's funny that KOS is endorsing official conspiracy theories (no evidence to backup any of their claims), but gets angry at people who try to investigate and ask questions. Maybe KOS is a military trained shill to lead the opposition? Jeff Gannon type poison pill for democrats. What do you think about this conspiracy?
  •  media mentions, consulting, speaking fees (none)
    Hey, if a blog has a bunch of non-mainstream theories comments on it, that blog aint gonna get mentioned by the mainstream media, and if that happens, then there is no way that the blogger is gonna get campaign consulting gigs or speaking gigs. THat is why all the most well known Democratic bloggers are mainstream and purge all true leftist posters.
  •  This is some bad bullshit (none)
    What the fuck?  Daily Kos can't handle people with opinions outside the norm?  Daily Kos afraid the Kool Kids won't take it seriously any more?  Daily Kos wants to be part of the mainstream media?
  •  As blog owner, I believe you do have the (none)
    right to screen out what you think are crackpot theories. But that is really what I like best about reading blogs - that anyone can say anything. I favor letting everything in and trusting people to draw their own conclusions.
  •  wacKOS (none)
    a light hearted addition...

    I read the first 50 or so responses, then wanted to know if Markos had responded to any of them. I found some. The search for "kos" also came up with a lot of dKOS, KOSsacks, MarKOS..and my favorite....wacKOS.

    you can wipe off that grin, cuz I know where you've been. It's all been a pack of lies.

    by Kane in CA on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 01:03:35 PM PDT

  •  Reality Based Community (none)
    Sure some people post things that are outrageous, but I think people can decide for themselves.  I thought that was what this site was all about.  Who cares what anybody else thinks, if that was what was behind this decision, it is very sad indeed.  I say discourse is discourse, if you don't agree, so be it, that is the beauty of it, as well as the ugliness of it.  I guess the ugliness won out this time.

    "Everything you can imagine is real."
    Pablo Picasso

  •  Seek the Truth, not Reality. They are not the same (none)
    There is no question that Kos is censoring the website to better reflect his perception of Reality.

    The Bible is filled with conspiracy
    Shakespeares writing  is all about Conspiracy
    Bush has unleashed a massive conspiratorial lie about the war and it seems that the Valerie Plame outing was a conspiracy.

    Conspiracy takes place daily at your place of work. Between the boss and those that favor him or her and those who do not.And between co workers.

    Conspiracy takes place in your families as children play off parents against each other and parents play children off against the other parent.

    All human history is a reflection of layer upon layer of disinformation. So much so that none of us have any idea what the "truth" is anymore. History is a lie.

    People believe Jesus Christ is their lord and Savior. Quite apart from faith...what is the likely hood of this being true and how did this religion of Christianity take root? Has there been a conspiracy to make people believe in Jesus against their will. Yes, it is an historical fact. THe same with Islam.

    We have too much conspiracy too much "reality" and not enough truth.

    Reality based is a very poor term because it implies that there is a common reality that everyone can percieve alike. That's not the truth. There is something better a reality based website and that is a website based on the truth. You can answer the question what is the truth, more easily than you can answer what is reality.

  •  this is so totally wrong and unwise (none)
    Censorship?  Purging?  Calling someone "crazy" because they believe something you don't?  

    What's next?  Burning books?  

    Banning these people is the insane thing.  What we want is MORE free inquiry, not less.  

    P.S. I do not believe that the London bombings were part of a gov't conspiracy, but I support the right of people to express this opinion.  

    May all beings be free from fear.

    by shakti on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 06:28:37 PM PDT

  •  C-Span (none)
    I was watching Washington Journal this morning, and couldn't help but notice that they let everyone speak thier minds, as crazy as they seem, or not.  I guess that's why everyone who calls says "Thank God for C-Span".  It really is wonderful, and I guess it's all we have now.  Don't censor people Kos, let us say, "Thank God for Daily Kos".  You will be better for it.
  •  Sad day for kos (none)
    I have been a loyal reader at for over a year now but unfortunately will not be reading the site any longer.  This post that I just read is pathetic.  I guess you no longer want people to search for the truth.  Kos you are going to just fall in line and accept whatever BS they feed you.  

    The fact that most of your readers don't think that the towers had a little help coming down with some well placed explosives is stunning.  How many witnesses from the towers do you have to listen to before you all wake up.  Those towers were designed to withstand MULTIPLE aircraft crashes without collapsing.  How many architects have to tell you that was a controlled demolition before you get your head out of the sand.

    If you choose to stand by your comments here Kos then you may as well shut down your site.  You have given up in your search for the truth.

  •  The most unAmerican thing you can say to a person (none)
    is: "You can't say that."
  •  911 fraud (none)
    I don't know if this will post I might have been one who was banned. WHEN I FIRST heard that 911 was an inside job I said people who thought that were NUTS. Then I researched and it seemed likely but I dismissed it. Then I came across the 911 fraud site and the evidence was VERY compelling to say the least. Remember one thing TRUTH CAN BE STRANGER THAN FICTION.

    I appreciate your hard work on this site and I appreciate the easy way to post. UNLIKE THE CON/RIGHT sites who make people join and then when they speak they are banned lol.

    I ASK you to go and visit

    Then see what you think. HEY! I argued with people over stolen elections when I thought they were crazy.

    With all that is going on with this administration you can't close one single possibility. Maybe you read in the con sites that slam DK daily and felt embarrassed by it. Did they actually get to you?

    If I am banned or if you ban me for posting this link for you well then so be it. I think that each and every person has something of value to offer.

    Most of the information I have researched came from many great posters who passed on the information.

    Again, you do a wonderful job and I hope this all works out for you. PLEASE go visit that link. Watch the Video's and listen to the audio and read all the facts it will astound you. I honestly wish I never found out because it is very hard to sleep at night.

    Good luck.


  •  Mass Purging of conspiracy... like the round earth (none)
    Rigorous Intution

    The Trouble with Normal

    Person in the street shrugs: "Security comes first"
    But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse - Bruce Cockburn

    So DailyKos has conducted a "mass banning" of those who had been "perpetuating a series of bizarre, off-the-wall, unsupported and frankly embarassing conspiracy theories." I hope no one is terribly surprised by this development. From the darlings of alternative media, purges usually follow their contributors' binges of unproscribed spelunking into the deep politics of a mass event. If someone like Kos doesn't distance himself from inquiries that offend mainstream sensibilities he risks the loss of the honourary privileges extended to the pacified blogosphere, and where is he then? Just another former Republican who has a problem with women. And since inquiry isn't his strong suit - Kos regards the theft of the 2004 election as just another "conspiracy theory" and can write with a Bushian lack of irony that he has a "high tolerance level for material I deem appropriate" - making it a sacrificial offering to the incurious middle couldn't have been a tough call.

    More than truth, such people crave respectability, which they call "credibility" because it conforms to the conventional wisdom of those whose approval they seek. This becomes the capital they believe they trade for "influence," which is nothing more than their place in punditry's pecking order.

    They want, dear God, to be normal. That was never much to which to aspire, and it ain't what it used to be.

    If we want to uncover hidden truths then we have to go deep, and when we go deep we have to get our freak on, because the truths we dredge up transgress the assumptions of respectable society.

    Those who choose the course of bobble-headed agreement with their "betters" in hope of finding favour, may very well find it. As far as the mainstream consenus is concerned, it's the only avenue of reward. But the truth will be closer to the freaks who don't worry about getting down and dirty.

    Naturally, the trigger for this latest round of house cleaning was the attack on London. And, as usual on such occasions, the hammer came down just as things are getting interesting.

    Even though all speculation at this early stage is conspiracy theory, only some speculation is expected to wear that demeaning epithet like a dunce cap. A "senior US counterterrorism official" can say, anonymously and without support, that he worries it may have been the work of al-Zarqawi. And reporters, rather than convulse in spit-takes or consider why it serves US interests to float such a preposterous allegation, write it all down as though he were serious. Such figures are considered, by default, to be "informed" sources, even though they are actually the worst kind of conspiracy theorists: they don't respect their theory enough to back up their baseless assertion, which they make only because they are pushing an agenda.

    Regardless of how informed our speculations may be, we should know by now they will never be respectable so long as the conventions that protect the criminals in high places remain assumed by the Gatekeepers, and uninformed argument-by-ridicule is sufficient to silence critics beyond the gate.

    You may by now have read the report that - shades of 9/11 - there were there were simultaneous exercises in the London subway, at the identical stations, at the exact time of the blasts. You may not have had the chance to read it on Democratic Undergound, because though the original source is an audio clip and transcript from the BBC, it's the polarizing Alex Jones who brought it to our attention. So in the dumper it goes. How lucky for some. (And it's not just Alex Jones. "Did I just post an article here two minutes ago? 'False Flag Over London'? And now it's gone?" asked one of several confused DUers who tried posting the piece by John Leonard.)

    America's had trouble with normal since the day it watched a police narcotics informant silence a self-described patsy on live television. It's degraded to the point at which it needed rebranding as the "New Normal" to still be recognizable to most Americans, who aren't sheep so much as lobsters who believe it's supposed to be this hot. And since at least the disclosure of Operation Gladio, and the revelations of connivance of Western military intelligence with fascists, gangsters and secret societies to wage false flag terror to discredit Europe's democratic Left, no speculation should be discounted out of hand, and nothing should be taken at face value. As Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra testified, "You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force...the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security." Person in the street shrugs: "Security comes first...."

    Those who would silence inquiry with ridicule either don't know this history (this living history, as Italy is rocked by disclosure of a Gladio-like, ultra-right secret team conducting parallel "counter-terrorism"), or do, and don't want us to know it.

    For the most part, "progressive" and "alternative" forums are full of preening, ignorant bullshitters with little grasp of the evidence and no appreciation for parapolitics, who contentedly squeeze greasy farts in the faces of researchers and activists who know what time it is. (It's a bitter irony that activist Andy Stephenson died last week, whose "tinfoil hat" is being refashioned as a halo by the same, facile piss artists of the "moderate left" who perpetually misrepresented his contributions as conspiracy crap that makes us look bad.)

    So we're outside the gate, thank God. And if we want to do good work, that's where we'll stay. Because the walls need to be breached, and the gate that beckons us to normalcy is part of the problem.

    Rome never looks where she treads.
    Always her heavy hooves fall
    On our stomachs, our hearts or our heads;
    And Rome never heeds when we bawl.
    Her sentries pass on - that is all,
    And we gather behind them in hordes,
    And plot to reconquer the Wall,
    With only our tongues for our swords - Rudyard Kipling, "A Pict Song"

    See original article for all links.

  •  Go Back to Sleep! (none)
    With revelations of London Underground bombing drills occuring at the same time as the real bombings on July 7th, we've gone from the realm of fantastic, to the realm of absurd. Blatently obvious, since terrorist attacks over and over are producing the SAME EXACT SCENARIO, that people in the inteligence community are providing operational cover for the actual attacks.

    Patsies can be managed, even unwitting accomplices, but coincidences of this magnitude DO NOT AND CANNOT HAPPEN!

    ITN News in London, interviewing the managing director of Visor Consultants, the group running bombing exercises in the London Underground at the EXACT SAME time as the real attacks(video).

    The ASSOCIATED PRESS story about a CIA/NORAD war game scenario of hijacked jets wrecking into the world trade center and pentagon at 8:30 in the morning on 9/11, while the EXACT SAME THING WAS HAPPENING IN REAL TIME! It should be noted that the FAA was reporting at least 11 hijacked jets that morning. The war game served it's purpose. Well meaning air traffic controllers could not direct fighter aircraft where to engage the real hijakced jets, because they were confused about which blips on the radar were actual jets and which were part of the CIA/NORAD war game.

    The LONDON TELEGRAPH reports on Vladimir Putin's FSB getting caught planting bombs in apartment buildings in 1999, but then claiming it was only a DRILL!

    Now do you see the importance of drills? When they get caught red handed, they pull out their credentials, praise you for your vigilance and reward you with a big screen TV.

    It's also interesting to note, that FEMA(Federal Emergency Management Agency) had a presidential succession exercise scheduled to take place the day after president Reagan was shot on March 30th, 1980

    Yeah, vice-president George Herbert Walker Bush was friends and business partners with the assassin John Hinckley's father. Yeah he's friends good friends with Shafiq Bin Laden too. It's just all one big coincidence. Go back to sleep!

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