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In which I extol the virtue and relevance of producing and commenting in "Troll" diaries.

First, for everyone who's been called (or insinuated to be) a Troll, a Sockpuppet, a Shill, an Agent Provocateur, a paid corporate minion, a commenter in bad faith, a dishonest political hack, an infiltrator, "they", disruptive, dishonest, disingenuous, mocking, nitpicking, quibbling, tangential, creepy, threadjackers, belittling, baiting, fallacious, making ad hominem attacks, raising strawmen, resorting to circular logic - for disagreeing with a premise or conclusion a diarist has written about. We know who you are, and we salute you as the finest exemplar of corporate infiltration.

My, that's a lot of words... especially if it's from someone who says that none of these types of people are worth a moment of his/her time, and that they should not be responded to in any way. In the annals of cognitive dissonance, this one's a keeper. But wait, there is an overall purpose to this seeming confusion.

Another case of seeming dissonance?  Between the notion that these people are very easy to spot, and that they're very good at what they do. Now, the only way that both of these statements can be true is if the real job of the current crop of corporate infiltrators is to actually be spotted easily for what they are; the resulting outcry against them constitutes their raison d'etre, because it translates into a resounding and prolonged chorus of "SQUIRREL!!" Whether there is a subclass of agents whose duty it is to egg on the squirrel hunts is another question for a different day.

Now, a few statements about the proper milieu in which these agents can best promote the agendas of their corporate masters. One might think that they would congregate in diaries which expose ALEC, or lay out relevant statistics against WalMart, or lay out specific facts about the successes of the ACA, or even promote ending the filibuster. One would be wrong. The great preponderance of their work occurs in diaries where their very existence is a main concern of the participants.

A possible conclusion to this line of thought might be that their first objective is to drive all those participants into a mass of frothing, spitting incoherence, at which time they will, having silenced all those whose keen eyes can spot them, retire from the field. At this point others with more subtle agendas will proceed to more quietly infiltrate those areas where people are actually making a difference in the larger world, now without the presence of experienced trollhunters.

So, to all of you who have taken on the arduous task of winkling out and shaming the trolls who currently infiltrate Daily Kos, our thanks. Since the serious business of undermining the core of the site cannot be taken on until all your voices are reduced to muted whimpering, we commend your courage in calling out the infiltrators. We salute your never ending work against those who would spread dissent into the main company of users, by keeping it confined to a few sharply delineated areas, where none but the bold dare go.

Originally posted to serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:24 PM PST.

Also republished by Trolls.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 0-)

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:24:03 PM PST

  •  To wit... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch, Catte Nappe

    Redshirt: Oh No, the dreaded anti-anti agitprop maneuver!

    Captain: We're going to need more tin-foil. A lot more tinfoil and may God have mercy on our souls.

    Look, I tried to be reasonable...

    by campionrules on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:27:39 PM PST

  •  Late payment (7+ / 0-)

    It's Friday and I still haven't gotten my check from David Koch.

    Did you get yours?

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

    by DowneastDem on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:39:10 PM PST

  •  HR'd for obvious trollery posing as nontrollery. (15+ / 0-)

    Nah, I'm kidding.

    I must admit, though, that I love the word "threadjack." It sounds like the title of a Vin Diesel movie.

    "ThreadJack," starring Vin Diesel. Drops June 2015. Also starring Rashida Jones and that chubby kid from "Modern Family" whose name I'm too lazy to google.

    Visit threadjackthemovie.com.

    This movie is not yet rated, but it'll probably be a hard "R" 'cause there's gonna be lots of shit blowing up, not to mention...threadjacking!

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:41:49 PM PST

  •  But, but... I'm a sockpuppet and it's (15+ / 0-)

    working out pretty well for the dog.

    I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:51:01 PM PST

  •  Sooooooo somebody pointed out that you'd (5+ / 0-)

    been acting trollishly in a comment somewhere?

  •  Agent Provacateur (9+ / 0-)

    (damned French words, never could spell them) reporting for duty!

    Wait? What? Oh nevermind.

    /snark

  •  I know it's snark but.... (13+ / 0-)

    The truth is that the troll-hunters ARE obnoxious. Whether it's [redacted] claiming that all who criticize are trolls or [redacted, redacted, redacted, and redacted] feeling the need to attach their names to every single hidden comment and remark upon the trollishness of the commenter.

    There ARE obvious trolls here and there always will be. But I have never, ever seen a more concerted effort to feed the trolls as I do on this site.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 02:37:27 PM PST

  •  One would have to be terminally naive (3+ / 0-)

    to think that this site does not have paid agents provocateurs representing both corporate America and the US gov't/military.  Probably a number of foreign entities as well (I won't name them, but we have a shorthand for naming 2 of them).

    However, as you so correctly point out, professional trolls are not so easy to spot.  They're trained professionals, after all.  I did, several years ago, manage to get a US military troll (yes, on this site) to admit that he was (a paid troll).  He wasn't very good at his job.  They've gotten a lot better since then.  There's a vast difference between a paid propagandist and an irrational argumentative poster who trolls the site to advance a personal cause.  The latter are the ones most often accused, falsely, of being paid trolls.

    What was the latest cause, taken up by this site, that was effective in promoting real change?  Anyone?  No, a minor tweak to filibuster rules in the Senate is not 'real change'.  If no examples come to mind, then the site has been neutered.  By, IMHO, paid agents.  But that's just my opinion, and I have no intention of arguing this position.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 03:04:45 PM PST

    •  I agree that there may very well be a number (10+ / 0-)

      of actual paid trolls on this site, though I'm not as certain of it as you are. The point was made yesterday, in another diary, that whether it is true or not, starting witch hunts over the possibility is likely to be as or more damaging than anything real trolls can accomplish.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 03:14:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Starting witch hunts (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, tardis10

        sounds like a great way to neuter an activism group or website.  Kinda like 'divide and conquer'.

        I'll bet when those paid trolls get their training, one of the chapters in their manual has something to say about it.

        190 milliseconds....

        by Kingsmeg on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 03:21:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe there are paid agents here. (7+ / 0-)

        I just believe they are not the same people that others believe they are.

        BTW: There is a group of troll hunters which focus on identifying deep cover right ring trolls. The group has existed since the inception of groups. Our existence and membership list is public just like other groups. Membership is limited to active long time participants who have shown a willingness to protect the site from trolls.

        I am willing to allow anyone in, at least temporarily, so that they can see our work product.

        © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

        by Tomtech on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 04:40:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seriously? I would love to be in it. Does one have (3+ / 0-)

          to be a diarist, or is long-time commenting sufficient?

        •  I admit to curiosity, if nothing else. (6+ / 0-)

          I don't believe that most of the people yelling "Troll!" believe that their targets are more than adversarial nuisances. I also don't think I can sustain the level of suspicion that would seem to be warranted for the job you're trying to do, but it would be good to have more information.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:15:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Check us out. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch, Mike Kahlow

            You may be disappointed by how little we actually do and how blatant our eventual targets are,

            © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

            by Tomtech on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:30:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I used Trolls as my gateway to dkos for several (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tomtech, Hey338Too, fcvaguy

              months - until the supply dried up for a while. Taught me a lot about the community, or at least a particular subset...

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:41:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  and actually (3+ / 0-)

            the closeted third party trolls are far worse than the right wing trolls.

            •  Okay, now you've got me curious. I assume you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fcvaguy, Tomtech

              have at least strong anecdotal evidence behind that - can you give the gist of it without naming names?

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:00:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Its no secret (6+ / 0-)

                They eventually show up on the banned list, or if you've been here for awhile, you get to know them.

                There are all sorts of trolls here with a plethora of agendas. They all have something in common - to divide the community.

                There was a rather effective one who was posing as a black woman living in the projects who's purpose was to undermine AA support for Obama and give ammunition to those here who were happy to see it happen.

                There was another who posed as a fake gay young man. His agenda remains a mystery to me but he also tossed the entire community into turmoil leaving many people seriously damaged.

                There has even been a famous blogger/now "journalist" who trolled here to also fan the flames of anti-Obama sentiment.

                •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  triv33, Tomtech

                  They openly advocate for a third party, they get banned. Pretty straightforward.

                  All those others "you get to know" are sure to slip up eventually, right?

                  And when they do...zap!

                  Which makes me wonder how they manage to survive around here for so long before this happens.

                  I'm curious, what are the little "signs" we should look for?

                  Marked "anti-Obama" sentiment?
                  Repeated expression of disillusionment with the Democratic Party?
                  Noticeable lack of interest in voting?
                  Showing "libertarian" tendencies?




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:39:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  None of those are particularly telling (5+ / 0-)

                    The vast majority of people here have expressed some form of disappointment with Obama and Democratic Party in one way or another. And, even Markos is a self-avowed libertarian Democrat.

                    My observations are my own regarding the plethora of types of trolls. IMO, there isn't just one type. There are many. If you want to learn about the various types of trolls, you can consult one of Hunter's or Markos extensive writings on the subject. Although, Markos tends to call them "dicks".

                    •  No, there isn't just one type, but... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      triv33, Tomtech

                      You specifically referred to a particular flavor, above, when you said this:

                      and actually ... the closeted third party trolls are far worse than the right wing trolls.
                      and then you were asked for more information:
                      Okay, now you've got me curious. I assume you ... have at least strong anecdotal evidence behind that - can you give the gist of it without naming names?
                      to which you then replied:
                      They eventually show up on the banned list, or if you've been here for awhile, you get to know them.
                      which I thought was referring to what you said in the topmost blockquote above.

                      So I wasn't asking about trolls in general. I know what they are and how they operate. I was asking you what your criteria were for spotting the specific type of 3rd party trolls who are more damaging than RW trolls.

                      Is my above reading inaccurate?

                      If not, any thoughts?




                      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                      by DeadHead on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:33:56 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I mentioned a few types, not one specific type (7+ / 0-)

                        You get to know them....... In the case of the troll posing as a black woman - usually a new member doesn't make a big splash to start. She did. She had an instant fan base. But, along the way people grew suspicious, noted significant inconsistencies in her accounts. Then, someone encouraged a semantic analysis of her writing and convinced TPTB she was indeed a sock of a very nefarious white woman troll who had been here years ago. Perhaps in this case, "sock" would be a better label than "troll".

                        In the case of the journalist, years ago, Markos made a comment that individual had a reputation for trolling the site as well as other sites. In his most recent incarnation, he started off by attacking a well-liked diarist who the SUX side wasn't a fan of; went Godwin and called the diarist a rather unique name. Shortly thereafter, the journalist, using his real name, tweeted an attack on that diarist using the same unique name. In addition, his chosen KOS UID was a unique name the journalist used in the title of an article he had recently written. When he was questioned about that, he was manually banned.

                        There was indeed another I didn't mention. He was new. Started out being a strong Obama/Dem supporter, then over the course of a few months, made a sudden turnabout and became very anti-dem/Anti-Obama which seem incredibly contrived. He befriended many on the SUX side who became fans of his. Once again, inconsistencies were noted. It turned out he was a member of Redstate using the same exact UID name, where he was bragging about how he was playing the left at DailyKOS.

                        So, perhaps when I say "you get to know them", the common denominator is that you start to note inconsistencies and behaviors that don't make sense, as well appearing transparently single agenda driven.

                        •  I'm familiar with the instances... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          serendipityisabitch

                          You mention in your first and third paragraphs, I think, even though I wasn't directly involved in them. I observed them after-the-fact, shortly thereafter in the first of the two, and after returning from a self-induced hiatus from the site, in the second of those two.

                          I suspect the events described in your second paragraph were before my time, but I do recall something being on the front page when I was either still lurking the site, or freshly registered. Something about some person being exposed as a sockpuppet. The FP post was a sort of "shaming." That had to have been around around 2009, so what you're referring to might be something else entirely different and precedent to what I'm thinking of.

                          Still, I hardly see those two instances that I am familiar with as having been something one "gets to know" in terms of being aware of the deception, but tolerant of it over a long period of time, which is what I took to be the gist of your comments above, though I do understand what you're saying in terms of becoming familiar with inconsistencies and patterns and being able to see them more clearly when they show up in new cases, now that you've clarified your point a bit more for me.




                          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                          by DeadHead on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:29:26 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  alas, I have found that to most of us here, (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hey338Too, fcvaguy, indubitably

                    "trolls" simply mean nothing more than "anyone who disagrees with me".  (shrug)

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 06:42:22 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  With exceptions... (0+ / 0-)

                      I prefer to address the behavior by using the verb form of the word, trolling, as opposed labeling a person using the the noun form. One better avoids receiving HRs that way. Not to mention, it doesn't nullify the entirety of a person's participation here because they're having a day.

                      The exceptions being either obvious RW trolls, or, specifically in my personal experience, with a couple of users whose serial trolling has earned them, in my book, the "official" troll designation. I don't call them that as a rule, but that's what they are, in my view.

                      And it's not simply because I disagree with their views. It's based on their actions observed over an extended period of time across several diaries and towards multiple users/diarists, and is a sentiment shared by numerous others, as well.

                      Disagreeing and trolling aren't the same thing, but the former does have the potential to become the latter when it's done persistently and in complete ignorance of facts that prove the disagreeing party wrong.

                      In other words, continuing to disagree and citing debunked "facts" to do it is a form of trolling. People who do this with enough frequency to exhibit a pattern of, or a reputation for doing it, are, as far as I'm concerned, trolls.




                      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                      by DeadHead on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:03:06 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  So, I take it you didn't mean "third party" (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fcvaguy, Tomtech, AnnetteK, Hey338Too

                  in the sense of people advocating for a third political party, but only that their interests were pretty much sideways from the actual politics of the site. I read it as something like Naderites or Greens when you first stated it. Isn't the English language fun? Thanks.

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:51:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  well, you can't be THAT good at it, if you haven't (10+ / 0-)

          found out yet that I work for the NSA . . . .

          (snicker)

          But I do wonder what it is exactly that a paid troll would DO here?  Write another "rox/sux" diary to add to the thousand we've already written ourselves?

          If all of the pie-fighting and HR wars that go on here are actually the secret work of paid trolls, then those guys must be damn awfully busy, and the Kochs must have a few oil wells set aside just to pay them. . . .

          Sadly, of course, they are not. Most of us here really and truly just can't get along with each other.  (shrug)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:29:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We're terrible (5+ / 0-)

            We don't declare a member a troll very often. But when we do they can expect to have a date with Autoban in their future.

            © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

            by Tomtech on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:34:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Paid trolls come in a couple of varieties. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeadHead, triv33, Tomtech
            But I do wonder what it is exactly that a paid troll would DO here?  Write another "rox/sux" diary to add to the thousand we've already written ourselves?
            Easiest to spot is the corporate, image consultant sort, who has his talking points that get inserted whenever a subject comes up.  That doesn't make them trolls, what makes them trolls is what they do to people who challenge their talking points or provide a more progressive (or accurate) view of the subject.  The US gov't and military use these extensively, and this is the sort that I was able to unmask some years ago.  They probably have more resources now, and are able to work in packs or with multiple sockpuppets.

            The more difficult to spot, and much more professional sort, is the paid agent provocateur, paid to push the discussion into irrational or unproductive traps, and steer discussion away from anything that could challenge the position of whomever they represent.  Obviously, during election season, we see some clumsy efforts from the GOP.  The more dangerous sort follow the COINTELPRO model, and are probably contracted by the same people who opposed the civil rights movement and the anti- Vietnam war movement. If the CIA stays true to form, they probably co-opt successful, influential bloggers much the same way they buy off established journalists rather than try to home-grow them.  More cost-effective, and faster.

            These are not to be confused with (unpaid, unprofessional) lunatics, who may use some of the same tactics.  We had someone called 'RealityBites' a few years ago, with a pet issue (circumcision).  Write a diary about butterfly migration or Obama's golf game?  He would be sure to show up and explain how it all revolves around circumcision, and he could be relied on to go full Godwin now and then.  He was so transparent that he was amusing, and it seemed a harmless diversion for a while, but he was eventually banned.  And then there's the dittoheads who try to fly under the radar long enough that they think they can start subverting us with rw propaganda, but in their defense there are quite a few kossacks doing the same on Redstate.

            190 milliseconds....

            by Kingsmeg on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:13:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for sharing the info about... (4+ / 0-)

          ... your troll hunters group.  I am glad to know that the group exists and (contrary to some people's assertions) that the DKOS team has been concerned about the issue for a long time.

          Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

          by Hey338Too on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:32:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't start the group. (4+ / 0-)

            But I am one of the six Admins which handle membership issues exclusively.

            Almost all of the active members are set as Editors so that they can republish diaries on their own.

            Most of our activity occurs within the messaging system where we identify trolls who haven't been banned or discuss whether the advocate declaring a member a "Hide on Sight" troll.

            Our public declarations have always been accepted by the community at large and the user was eventually Autobanned by the community. No banned user has successfully appealed the banning.

            © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

            by Tomtech on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:41:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, "one of the six" - I remember your comment. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tomtech

              I still think you should have posted it to Trolls. ;)

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:55:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Where is the public declaration made? (4+ / 0-)

              Is there a place where we can see a list without being a member of the team?  I don't imagine that these pronouncements are made frequently by the team, so it would be nice to know where to look rather than take a random person's word for it when they HR someone (and brand them a HOS troll) in a diary.

              Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

              by Hey338Too on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:57:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  With the change in the Bojo setup, I would (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hey338Too, Tomtech, Dirtandiron, poco, AnnetteK

              imagine that most of the time there's no reason for that type of messaging now, now that any new user with two HRs and no recs automatically gets Bojo'd. Sleepers are something else, but they seem to be being struck down much more easily lately.

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:02:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We used to be more active (5+ / 0-)

                Auto works much better than he used to.

                © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

                by Tomtech on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:08:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ouch. I just saw my new Republish button. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tomtech

                  Just in case I hit it accidentally, does it have a Cancel choice in there somewhere? I'd rather not find out by accident that I've republished something rather than recommending it.

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:23:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I could undo it. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    serendipityisabitch

                    An editor would need to complete the republishing process before the diary would actually be republished.

                    If you were an Editor you would have to take an additional step using the queue before a diary was actually published.

                    I'm not sure if an Editor has the capability of removing a published diary, but with six Admins a message would likely be noticed fairly quickly and they would remove an errant posting.

                    © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

                    by Tomtech on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:55:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Whew. But I'm gonna be overcareful (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tomtech

                      for a while, just in case.

                      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                      by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:01:48 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Republish this diary. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

                        It is topical and we generally republish topical diaries which aren't meta fests with vague accusations.

                        © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

                        by Tomtech on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:16:31 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ooh! Goody. I will, and thanks. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Hey338Too, Tomtech

                          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                          by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:19:51 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  And yes, thankfully, it is quite possible to (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Tomtech

                          cancel the republish in the middle. I will be much less nervous, now, about making a mistake.

                          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                          by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:32:29 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Check the publication note. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            serendipityisabitch

                            Here.

                            I haven't seen how it put my comment within yours in the past. I'm glad that I identified my remark.

                            Publication notes aren't required and the contributor is always mentioned in case someone tries to infiltrate the group and publish diaries which don't meet the group's guidelines.

                            © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

                            by Tomtech on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:43:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Kinda neat. Thanks again. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tomtech

                            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                            by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:52:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Check your messages. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            serendipityisabitch

                            Group message are not flagged as new messages so you will need to check them occasionally to see the discussions the group is having.

                            Go through and look at next pages via the link at the bottom. Check the  threads with more than a single comment to see what we have done in the past.

                            That's where we do our investigations and have our discussions.

                            © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

                            by Tomtech on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:59:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely. (0+ / 0-)
        The point was made yesterday, in another diary, that whether it is true or not, starting witch hunts over the possibility is likely to be as or more damaging than anything real trolls can accomplish.
        That's why I make no effort to engage them.  However, that means that I often refuse to engage anyone who responds to a comment, which leads to posting fewer and fewer substantive comments, giving up on diaries altogether... which means that the trolls have won, and successfully silenced me.

        190 milliseconds....

        by Kingsmeg on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:25:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've pretty much given up on writing political (5+ / 0-)

          diaries, because the pack dogs and the pie wars and the HR-fests generally make substantive discussion impossible anyway. So I too have been "silenced".

          But I do not believe ANY of these are done by "paid trolls" or by the CIA---I think they are the same sort of plain ole ordinary faction-fighting and hyper-ideologues that the left has ALWAYS had, since the beginning, and will always have, to the end.

          We don't need "paid trolls" to make us fight with each other.  We do it all the time all by ourselves. (shrug)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 06:46:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It wasn't like that here, (0+ / 0-)

            in the beginning.  That's why I think it was paid trolls.  Not that I've been around a whole lot longer than you, but I remember when we could have vigorous, enthusiastic discussions without descending into self-defeating behaviors.

            190 milliseconds....

            by Kingsmeg on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 06:54:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's been like that as long as I've been here (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hey338Too, AnnetteK

              It was like that in all the groups I was in back in the 80's.

              It was like that when MB was active in AIM back in the 60's.

              It was like that in the old IWW back in the 20's.

              It has been like that as long as there have been two human beings who were not joined at the brain. The left has fought with itself ever since there's BEEN a left.  And it won't stop.  Ever.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 07:09:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

            You seriously don't believe it's possible that ANY, as in ZERO, of this could be the work of "paid" trolls?

            This quote, from this comment by MB, seems to disagree with you:

            [...]

            As for trolls and sockpuppets, we've been battling them for the entire existence of this web site, not presuming they don't exist. From Jeff Gannon to the ex-generals and colonels who learned in Pentagon seminars how to be "experts" on television regarding U.S. war policy to the candidate campaign workers who failed to identify themselves, we've done what we could to point them out and, when we caught them here, root them out.

            Though he doesn't mention the word "paid," it sounds as if he's talking about pretty much the same thing, on the whole.

            I won't presume to speak for him. Just something to ponder.

            I will say, however, your disbelief strikes me as naive.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:14:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  we're not worth the CIA or NSA bothering with (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erratic

              We do nothing except talk.  And write checks to candidates.

              The trolls and sockpuppets we get are just ideological goobers from Redstate who come here to yank our chains.  Just like some of us do to them.  (shrug)

              Although I do understand that the whole "they're out to get us !!!" thing helps feed that martyr complex that so many of us have . . .

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 02:04:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fine (0+ / 0-)

                Now that you've declared us unworthy of the NSA's and CIA's time, that leaves only the "paid trolls" category for you to address.

                Are you going to tell me that no one's ever been paid to troll this site?

                If this is indeed your response, how would you know that for certain?




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 02:51:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  who the hell cares if they are here or not? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  serendipityisabitch, poco, erratic, doroma

                  What do the "paid trolls" do that we don't already do to ourselves?  Write a 1001st "rox/sux" diary to add to the 1000 we've already written ourselves?

                  Indeed, the very fact that we CAN'T tell the "paid trolls" from people who simply disagree with us, indicates clearly what a lack of actual effect they have, and what a futile waste of time and effort it is to try and hunt them down.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 03:25:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Wait, what are you saying? (0+ / 0-)

        I could be getting PAID to just be myself, an actual ^sshole?  Sure, I'm progressive, but I love to embitter the "bunched panties" crew.  This is a paying gig now?  What the hell was I doing to have missed that boat?  Damn, and here I was, living in abject squaller, lucky enough to be able to afford the internet but not anything else that comes with payments and I could have been getting paid to be a douchebag, something I'm actually good at?  

        Are they taking applications?  I've got 'em all in my resume', God is dead, food stamps feed actual people and does not provide revenue to liquor stores, universal health insurance saves everyone money, God is still dead, unemployment benefits for the unemployed is a good idea if you have any decency in your heart, you're the descendant of a monkey whether you like it or not and not just that but you're probably the descendent of some bacteria that probably ate poop from some other bacteria, God might not be dead but he's probably not too proud of you right now, God is dead, I believe in God but I don't believe in you so why are you still typing, you know, I've got 'em all!  Where do I apply?

        I'm damaged and I like it, it made me what I am!

        by Damaged262 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 07:31:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  there is of course an alternate and equally valid (6+ / 0-)

      reason for our lack of success-----we're just not very good organizers.

      (shrug)

      On the other hand, take a look at the civil rights movement, which lasted over 20 years and won, despite being the target of the most intensive repression ever launched against any movement in US history, including COINTELPRO and outright assassinations.

      They won because they were VERY good organizers.

      If the civil rights movement can survive COINTELPRO and win, but we are stifled and stopped by some paid Internet trolls, then that says an awful lot about them and about us . . . . .

      (snicker)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:04:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whether paid pro, or amateur (10+ / 0-)

      Whether someone is a paid "provacateur" on a mission, or a Cheetoh eating amateur doing it for sport, the approach is likely to be the same. That is to embroil folks into divisive debates on minutiae and meta, purity testing, troll hunting, etc.

      As for promoting "real change" - what are you thinking "this site" is going to accomplish in some visibly splashy or measurable way? To the extent this site informs, educates, provides data and evidence - it promotes change. To the extent this site gives encouragement for people to speak out, take action, run for office - it promotes change. Lots of examples come to mind in how this site is promoting change.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:38:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very true (5+ / 0-)

      However, I doubt 3 digit UID folks who have been here for 10 years, regular participants for that entire time, chose to be latent trolls just waiting for a certain diarist to being posting calls for a revolution.

      •  Wow. You saw a diarist do that? (3+ / 0-)

        What kind of revolution was called for?

        I hope it wasn't anything more than a peaceful, non-violent one.

        As for 3 digit UIDs being trolls, absolutely NOT.

        Someone who's been here that long should be trusted implicitly.

        They know better, and are very wise.

        Besides, anyone who's been here that long couldn't possibly dislike a particular diarist. And surely they'd never engage in situationally-specific trollish behavior.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:54:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've certainly seen them (5+ / 0-)

          get called trolls, agents provocateurs, shills, thread jackers, etc etc etc for simply expressing a contrary opinion. And, when I see someone like MB rec'cing some of those contrary opinions, that sort of tells me even he doesn't think that person is a troll.

        •  Hi, DeadHead. I saw you come in earlier and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeadHead

          I hoped you'd comment on the diary directly. You have some wonderfully sideways thoughts when you get engaged, although I supposed that this was written a bit too sharply for you to want to. Unfortunately, I ended up having to pretzel to try to reconcile the real dissonance I was seeing, and the best I could do was show, as well as I could, how and why I perceived that dissonance.

          The third paragraph in the body is the key - if you can show me one or more straightforward ways to reconcile those two statements besides the one I posited, I'd certainly be interested.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:50:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch, triv33

            Easy to spot versus good at what they do, I take it?

            If so, here's my take on it:

            They're good at what they do because they effectively sideline the conversation wrt to the main points of the diary. Meta oftentimes comes as a side effect that contributes further to this. Plenty of pissing contests between users who don't like each other — I've been directly involved in those in several of Ray's diaries — often result.

            Easy to spot because it's the same type of comments that usually set it off — some kind of ad hominem directed at the diarist or some nitpick of a minor inconsistency in the diary that's unimportant in comparison to the larger topic the diary is trying to address. These devolve into petty gotchas and demands for clarification and whatnot.

            And these types of comments are oftentimes offered by the same dedicated group of contrarians who have taken it upon themselves to mount what appears to be a long-term, sustained effort to discredit and wear-down the diarist by way of attrition.

            Is that responsive to your question? If not, please elaborate further and I will attempt to focus-in on what you're getting at.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:03:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, actually I was thinking about Ray's (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hey338Too, poco, DeadHead

              statement in the diary that these operatives were good at what they do in trying to work on all four of the categories he called out, via the report he was citing. It doesn't strike me that operatives who are actually good at provoking those kinds of transformation would be as trivial to spot as he claims that they are in his trolls box. It sounds as though it would be very much contrary to their being simple to spot.

              Unless you go by the trope that all infiltrators are idiots, in which case it strikes me that a diary warning people about them is a little odd.

              So the conflict was between the body of the diary and the Trolls warning following it, and that they were juxtaposed on the same page. I take all of what Ray says seriously - too seriously perhaps - that's why I end up asking so blasted many questions.

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:32:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, that box might be a little obsolete, then... (0+ / 0-)

                It has, in some form or another, been a sort of boilerplate he's used for awhile now, as you know.

                I haven't actually read the text of that box in quite some time now. I tend to skip right over it, because I know it doesn't apply to me, and I already get the gist of what it's saying.

                Most people who are interested in the actual diary topic itself, even if it's on the same subject, seem to do the same thing.

                In fact, I don't really ever recall it being brought up by anyone other than those who continue to be perpetually unsettled by it.

                Have you noticed that? No one who actually cares about the subject under discussion gives much of a shit about what that box says.

                That, to me, is quite telling.

                That said, I can't offer you an explanation as to why Ray might have posted a diary that contradicts a boilerplate box he likely hasn't thought of updating in awhile.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:01:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  lolwhat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch, indubitably

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

    by terrypinder on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:01:58 PM PST

  •  The site does seem to carry less gravitas than it (11+ / 0-)

    did when I first started lurking here.  People think the purity patrols don't make a difference but I think they do.  Whether it is the result of the passion of certain posters about certain issues or the deliberate attempt to divide what could be a pretty effective venue I think there is damage being done to the progressive movement.  By people calling themselves progressives.  For instance, it is now an unchallenged fact here that there is such a thing as "the left wing of the democratic party" or even worse, "the Elizabeth Warren wing of the democratic party".  The people who have separated that group out from the rest of the democrats have ensured that the most progressive members of the democratic party will be disenfranchised and culled out into an ineffectual influence on the party as a whole.  Sadly, it is the very people who are members of that group who have done it to themselves.  They get support from certain diarists and commenters who constantly sing the refrain that the democratic party has no place for real progressives and doesn't share their values.  I do question the intent of the people who constantly seek to minimize the influence of progressives in the democratic party.

    You will undoubtably see all kinds of examples of the democratic party doing non-progressive things.  But those will all be examples that ignore the reality of politics and focus only on disenfranchising progressive democrats.  How many times have you seen comments such as, "You were against droning until a democrat/Obama was the one doing it", or accusing someone of being an NSA apologist who says they think Snowden committed a crime.  Have you ever seen one single person here say I didn't like drones until Obama was elected?  Or anything of the sort?  Or have you seen people say, I think it's great that the NSA spies on US citizens?  And yet, there is an acceptance that statements that divide out real progressives from other democrats are true.  I think the acceptance that there really is a disenfranchised group of true liberals from the rest of the democratic party is the result of a deliberate attempt to keep progressive policy away from democratic governance.  And most distressing is the fact that it is the people who themselves claim to be the most progressive who are the ones doing it.  So it may not be actual infiltrators, though I have my suspicions about a few of the most "pure".  But it is certainly as described by Lenny Flank that we are the best at destroying ourselves.

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:37:37 PM PST

    •  Brilliant post! /nt (4+ / 0-)

      Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

      by Hey338Too on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:48:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think (well, I hope really hard) that rather (7+ / 0-)

      than a large or formidable contingent declaring against inclusion, we simply have a rather loud one. There really is only a "small group" of constant commenters (pun intended) - rather larger than six, but certainly not a critically large number, who seem to have found a comfortable place from which to gripe.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:52:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree that the group is smaller than the effect (8+ / 0-)

        they have.  And it is definitely related to the strength of their insistence that they know the only true way.  But while I don't think there is any need to figure which, if any of them, do it deliberately, I think it is time for democrats to take progressivism away from that crowd.  They are simply not "the true left".  They do not speak for progressivism.  And there certainly is a place for progressivism within the democratic party.  We need to stand up against the notion that questioning peoples' assumptions makes you not a true progressive.  We need to challenge silly statements that are to the effect that a commenter supports drones simply because it is a democratic president doing it.  Unless someone can show that statement it  didn't happen.  We have to do what we can't not to let the people who have appropriated the term progressive, left or liberal take it away from the democratic party.  Because whether they understand it or not, they are doing the work of the other side.  Does Elizabeth Warren benefit from there being an "Elizabeth Warren wing of the democratic party"?  Absolutely not!  Do progressives benefit from there being a "true left wing" of the democratic party.  Absolutely not.  The only people who benefit are the people who have done exactly the same thing to their party.  So no matter if they are a loud contingent only we, true progressive democrats have to make sure that no one can peel away progressivism from the democratic party.

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:05:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador, angel d, triv33

          We need to stand up and fight against this mysterious group.

          I just wish I knew where to direct my energies.

          I'm not good at fighting phantom groups of people.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 12:03:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, you/we don't. (0+ / 0-)

            I hear that group has no power, yet I hear that they were responsible for the ass-kicking the Dems got in 2010.

            We need to stand up and fight against this mysterious group.

            I just wish I knew where to direct my energies.

            I'm not good at fighting phantom groups of people.

            Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

            by gooderservice on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 04:04:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  alas, faction-fighting isn't anything new (16+ / 0-)

      I saw the same thing when I was active back in the 80's; I'm sure Meteor Blades saw the same thing when he was active back in the 60's; I bet our great-grandfathers saw it when they were active back in the 20's and 30's. It will never end.  Ever.  It will always be with us. We simply need to live with it and be effective despite it.

      Over the years, I have learned that trying to "find the infiltrators" is inevitably more disruptive and destructive than the actual infiltrators are. It just creates an atmosphere of distrust, turns every silly disagreement into suspicion, and eventually kills the entire organization. In the end, nobody wins--everyone lies dead on the battlefield, shot by each other.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:53:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree that it's silly to look for them. As (11+ / 0-)

        pointed out in the diary, only the worst at it will be found anyway.  What is more important is that we not let their rhetoric and silly positions go unchallenged.  It doesn't matter if they are operatives or egotistical glory seekers.  Their motives aren't nearly as important as their actions.  If a person promotes "Revolution" continually without reference to either history or reality it doesn't matter why they are doing it.  It is just important to point out the fallacy of their position.  Likewise, if they constantly accuse those who question them of being trolls it doesn't matter if they themselves are trolls, only that they have continued to avoid to answer the questions posited to their stated positions.  It would be much more important to prove the false revolutionary wrong than it would be to spend time trying to prove he was a troll.  In my opinion.  There are effective ways of dealing with "infiltrators".  If you are worried that agents provocateur will throw bricks through windows when you march then you have to make it known that their behavior will not be tolerated and is not a part of your movement.  I very much remember the arguments here during Occupy that Occupy didn't want to be "officially" exclusionary and that that they didn't want to condemn violence.  I actually remember arguments that destruction of property isn't violence.  I remember arguments that there should be no exclusion of "tactics" and that Occupy didn't want to tell any group that they weren't welcome.  So long as a group is wishy washy about their condemnation of violence they are subject to being infiltrated and then tagged with violence.  Only a strong, unequivocal position and notice that there will be self-policing will do that.  But if you take that kind of stand and you stick to it, it won't matter if there are infiltrators or not.  So rather than spend your time trying to find them you need to spend your time making sure everyone knows what to do if you see someone starting to become violent.

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:20:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That second paragraph ought to be posted... (9+ / 0-)

        ...on everybody's refrigerator.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:56:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  In regards to... (10+ / 0-)

      ...the types of comments you mentioned, no, people aren't going to say outright that they were against something under Bush that they now either outright endorse or tacitly approve by their silence now that Obama is president. That would call into question a person's principles. No one wants to look like a flip-flopper, I don't think.

      Usually, so far as I've seen, those types of comments ask a question, not assert as fact something that is impossible to know unless one's prior positions during Bush are documented and able to be used to show a change of heart has indeed occurred.

      And yes, I have seen comments that all but do indeed say "I think it's great the NSA spies on it's citizens."

      People don't need to make an explicit statement of position on any given issue for their positions, over time and long-term interaction on a regular basis with other regular participants here, to become apparent.

      As for "purity patrol," which one had the most detrimental effect, in your view? How do you quantify that effect?




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:34:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  very well said (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too, indubitably, AnnetteK

      and exactly my view.

    •  Why complain about a fundamentally correct (11+ / 0-)

      (if repugnant) depiction of the Democratic Party?  Wouldn't it be better to change the Democratic Party so that it no longer fits the repugnant description?

      For instance, it is now an unchallenged fact here that there is such a thing as "the left wing of the democratic party" or even worse, "the Elizabeth Warren wing of the democratic party".  The people who have separated that group out from the rest of the democrats have ensured that the most progressive members of the democratic party will be disenfranchised and culled out into an ineffectual influence on the party as a whole.
      Historical fact: the elitist core within the Democratic Party has always promised its "Elizabeth Warren wing" a "seat at the table," as long as that "seat of the table" does not endow said wing with any power.  Who is this "rest of the democrats"?  See e.g. the history of the Democratic Party presented by Lance Selfa, as I have reviewed it here.
      They get support from certain diarists and commenters who constantly sing the refrain that the democratic party has no place for real progressives and doesn't share their values.
      Here we are in the fifth year of a Democratic Party regime that has attempted to impose a Grand Bargain composed of $3 trillion in budget cuts and $1 trillion in tax increases, while the employment population ratio remains stagnant at late 2009 levels.  As this regime discovered in 2010, a flimsy excuse for a jobs policy is not going to motivate voters to reelect a Democratic House of Representatives.  The Democrats tried to smother the jobs issue with the Elmer Fudd Theory of Electoral Victory; it didn't work.

      This is really the main bone of contention for progressives.  If everyone in the "Progressive Caucus" in Congress voted for an austerity budget of some sort or other in 2011, then the idea that the Democratic Party is an essentially neoliberal, un-progressive party begins to acquire traction.  If you want to counter that idea you'll have to do something to change the behavior of the Democratic Party itself.  

      How many times have you seen comments such as, "You were against droning until a democrat/Obama was the one doing it"
      I think this is about Glenn Greenwald's citation of a Washington Post opinion poll.  It's a real phenomenon.
      Or have you seen people say, I think it's great that the NSA spies on US citizens?
      For some reason, the attackers of Greenwald/ Snowden/ Manning think this is an embarrassing thing to admit.  Actually admitting their endorsement of PRISM would certainly make their cases against Greenwald, Snowden, and/or Manning believable.  Instead, they cherry-pick the supposed misdeeds and character flaws of NSA whistleblowers as a diversion from the vast harm done to the Internet, to privacy rights, and to world society by the NSA, its companion secret-keeping agencies, and American foreign policy in general.

      Unfortunately, the conversation about PRISM here at Orange tends to devolve into namecalling -- the problem as I see it is that the side that endorses PRISM is not making an honest case.  Similar problems accompany the discussions about drone warfare, jobs policy, and other policy discussions.

      "If we let the political class determine what's 'realistic,' the country is doomed." -- "Lambert Strether"

      by Cassiodorus on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:59:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know you're replying to Stellaluna, but I got (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hey338Too, poco

        interested, especially at the end. I've glanced at a couple of your references, but not all, and not thoroughly. Hopefully I'll have more time later.

        It strikes me that one root of all the problems you cite with arguments here is that a) we really don't have enough information available; b) what we have comes in scattered chunks; c) since the data as a whole are not fully coherent, to think about it at all, we have to cherrypick; d)even with that, any side of the argument is massively complex. The temptation to find a "simple" solution to any of these problems is incredibly strong, and that simple solution usually involves an extreme (i.e., support the government fully vs. take it apart and remodel the whole thing).

        Full solutions necessarily involve having full data. Partial solutions don't feel acceptable, and besides, they leave us still having to try to think based on insufficient data. Which is, of course, the norm for most problem solving, although we don't generally acknowledge it. Very few solutions are actually anything except partial. It's no wonder that arguments tend to devolve under those circumstances. And when you throw in political and/or ideological bias, they devolve even faster.

        Once the devolution starts, the hardest thing in the world is to say "I don't know how to solve this" and move to a smaller, less freighted area to take one small next step. I suppose I'm saying that I find the amazing thing about each of these problems is not that people are arguing badly, but that they're willing to keep talking at all. That gives me some hope that we can muddle through most of this, though not as cleanly as we might wish.

        Looking back, that was more than a bit of a ramble, but I hope it may have made some sense.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:40:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think we have enough information available. (7+ / 0-)

          Human beings know enough to solve its problems.  Sure, actually implementing the solutions would in many cases be opposed to academic orthodoxy, but I don't think academia is the main entity standing in the way of solutions.  The main hindrance to real solutions to social problems, in each case, is an elite insistence that government always be used as an agent of hegemonic, neoliberal capitalism.  

          "If we let the political class determine what's 'realistic,' the country is doomed." -- "Lambert Strether"

          by Cassiodorus on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:26:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Take two: (6+ / 0-)

            Human beings know enough to solve world-society's problems.  Sure, actually implementing the solutions to each of these problems would in many cases be opposed to academic orthodoxy, but I don't think academia is the main entity standing in the way of solutions.  The main hindrance to real solutions to global social problems, in each case, is an elite insistence that government always be used as an agent of hegemonic, neoliberal capitalism.  

            "If we let the political class determine what's 'realistic,' the country is doomed." -- "Lambert Strether"

            by Cassiodorus on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:10:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So, you don't include academia, the elites, (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erratic, kalmoth, poco, AnnetteK, Hey338Too

              and government as parts of the problem that need to be solved? To say they are the hindrance is to imply that the solution need not include them?

              If you're sure that human beings know enough, now, to solve our problems, then it follows that you cannot exempt one subset out and say "except for this part, which is keeping everything else from happening".

              I think you're saying that people know enough to solve the problems except for the hard part. Until that changes, one small step at a time needs to be taken. And the next, and the next.

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:05:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Don't cling to the "small steps" stuff too hard. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DeadHead

                Expect the human race to be convulsed by catastrophe, with corresponding changes in global consciousness.  

                "If we let the political class determine what's 'realistic,' the country is doomed." -- "Lambert Strether"

                by Cassiodorus on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:58:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  More hippie punching (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassiodorus, DeadHead

        these same folks will accuse US of losing the next election for them too.  The beatings will stop when the morale improves.  It rubs the lotion on its skin....Nader!  

        "It rubs the lotion on its skin" is not effective coalition building.

        by Nada Lemming on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:28:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)
      Or have you seen people say, I think it's great that the NSA spies on US citizens?

      Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

      by gooderservice on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 04:06:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I read the diary and all the comments. It was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

    an interesting discussion.  I don't mean that sarcastically.  There was indeed a lot of food for thought.

  •  It will only stop (5+ / 0-)

    When the community decides its had enough of decent, long term Kossacks who have been committed to this site stop getting called trolls, infiltrators, shills, etc etc etc.

    •  What about when they're acting like assholes? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, triv33

      Is that cool with you?

      Do decent kossacks committed to this site get a pass to act like dicks to whomever they've determined doesn't meet their standards for participation here?

      If someone in specific is accused of being any of those things you mention, they get HR'd, do they not?

      Speaking of those things in broad, non-specific terms not directed at specific usernames is not prohibited by the site rules, as you likely know.

      For example:

      There are shills/trolls on DailyKos
      is okay, whereas
      You are a shill/troll, you person!
      is not.

      Do you think it's possible that some long-term, dedicated members of this site could be misreading the former as saying the latter?




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 12:44:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. I think there's very little ambiguity (6+ / 0-)

        when it comes to insults/personal attacks.

        Speaking of those things in broad, non-specific terms not directed at specific usernames is not prohibited by the site rules, as you likely know.
        For example, I know some think they are being very clever by phrasing their insults like:

        Certainly you don't mean to say ........   because, only a real asshole would say something like that.

        The person might think thats clever, but really thats just another form of personal attack/insult.

        We won't ever agree on that. I believe a lot of people try very hard to disagree without insulting, while other people try very hard to insult, without breaking the rules.

        •  That's one of my preferred techniques... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          triv33

          Of insulting someone, when I choose to do so.

          Sometimes, however, on rare occasions, there's value in taking the HRs and just telling someone how you really feel. I've got those bookmarked so I can easily repost the link to that nice, insulting comment to that person again, should the need need arise, without getting re-HR'd for it! Neat, huh?  :)

          I guess I still have the same question: What about people who come into diaries that talk about trolls, shills, and sockpuppets, in general,  not even referring to this site specifically, and proceed to seemingly take personal offense, as if they were a troll, shill, or sockpuppet of the type mentioned in the diary, further proceeding to mock the diarist, level insults in the form of allusions to mental health issues, only to be joined by a cheering crowd of comment-rec'ing spectators?

          Are those people cool with you? Or no opinion/comment on that?




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:26:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your honesty is appreciated (6+ / 0-)
            That's one of my preferred techniques...
            Of insulting someone, when I choose to do so.

            Sometimes, however, on rare occasions, there's value in taking the HRs and just telling someone how you really feel. I've got those bookmarked so I can easily repost the link to that nice, insulting comment to that person again, should the need need arise, without getting re-HR'd for it! Neat, huh?  :)

            But no, I don't think its neat at all.

            Have fun. I have a busy day today.

            •  I didn't really expect you to think it was neat... (0+ / 0-)

              Especially in light of the fact it was more of a tongue-in-cheek response to the "hypothetical" method of insulting that you, yourself brought up.

              I always find it interesting to note which parts of a comment one chooses to address and which ones are left ignored.

              Rather typical of a lot of disagreeable interactions here. Find one thing to take issue with, ignore the stuff that's uncomfortable to answer.




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 01:16:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with Lenny (5+ / 0-)

    that it is counterproductive to try and "sniff out" paid agents or right wingers who are deliberate disrupters.

    It consumes energy, accomplishes little, and feeds rancor.

    I highly doubt there are paid disrupters on Kos.

    I saw several police agents/snitches at work in the 60s, so I have a little experience.  I could be wrong now, but I just don't see the same apparent tactics.

    No doubt Kos harbors a few right-wing "sleepers"  But those folks if they exist, are going to be making suspect arguments.  I, for one, will strongly disagree with their positions and call it good.

    If someone insinuates the folks they are arguing are trolls, the odds are that insult simply drive away folks who may be providing their studied opinion, no matter how wrong it seems to readers.

    SIAB, Good diary that sparked a good discussion.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:00:16 PM PST

  •  Am I the only one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, DeadHead

    who is tired of the constant frigging back and forth over the same damn talking points?

    The pro-gun democrats, the pro-corporatist democrats the bean counter democrats, yes, the libertarian democrats...

    they do come in and disrupt many proactive creative diaries from people trying to imagine a different kind of society that isn't hampered by these best of all worlds ideologies.

    The U.S. is screwed up. See: widening income gap, incarcerated population, homeless children, deaths due to lack of insurance, birthrate mortality, lack of adequate education, the unemployment rate for mature adults, accidental gun deaths, suicide rate, drone attacks, constant war, domestic spying, obesity rates, diabetes explosion, growing malnutrition and hunger, mass shootings, corporate pollution, corruption of politics, predatory lending, etc.

    I'm nauseated by the apologists and the glass half full rhetoric. What is the glass half full of? The bile of capitalism.
    Democratic candidates ain't cutting it. The whole thing has got to be looked at anew.

    Trolls to me equal apologists, plain and simple. Are we dedicated here to justice or to a political party? Sometimes I think those of us who are dedicated to justice need an alternate site.

    And, the 'sophisticated' dems thing isn't cutting it for me either. Either you're dedicated to justice for all, even those who have 'rube' beliefs, or you're not.

    Capitalism is the cause of ignorance in this society. Capitalism needs 'stupid' people, 'backwards' people, to function in its rapacious raping of the people and planet. There's no god damned republican brain versus a democrat brain. That's as offensive to me as racist phrenology from the turn of the century. People gravitate towards what comforts them. Go to the heart of social justice for all and education will follow. But, guess what? Doesn't anyone realize that Google exec #1, 2, 3 and 4 all accept evolution, and they're all still greedy capitalists ready to roll over the opposition and hold their workers hostage? Morality doesn't necessarily follow 'enlightenment'.

    •  people have been tied of the rancor for (10+ / 0-)

      over 100 years now.  ;)  But alas, the rancor is all part of the game, and it will never go away, ever.  It will always be there as long as there are two humans who think differently about things. We'll never all be joined at the brain.

      But there is something to be noted here:

      The pro-gun democrats, the pro-corporatist democrats the bean counter democrats, yes, the libertarian democrats...
      Those are not "trolls"---they are "people who disagree with each other".  There's an enormously huge difference between "trolls" and "people who disagree with each other".  But alas, most of us here do not make that distinction, and simply define "troll" as "anyone who disagrees with me".  It's silly. Most of the left disagrees with the rest of the left, on a whole variety of things.  The funniest part is that all those people you cite as "trolls, think YOU are the troll because YOU disagree with THEM.

      The fact that Joe Blow disagrees with you or me about something, even if he disagrees vehemently, persistently and enthusiastically, doesn't mean he works for the CIA and is out to get us. It just means he disagrees with us. And he's entirely allowed to. We're the side that tolerates and even encourages dissent and independent thought, remember? If we crush dissent and silence people who disagree with us, then we are no better than the other side. Same bird, different feathers.

      they do come in and disrupt many proactive creative diaries from people trying to imagine a different kind of society that isn't hampered by these best of all worlds ideologies.
      And this illustrates my point.  They do not "disrupt"--they "DISAGREE". That's rather a large difference.

      Too many on the left act like Leninists or fundamentalist churches---they have their pet views and ideologies that they cherish, and they can't tolerate the very PRESENCE of anyone who disagrees with their faith. To them, "trolling" simply means "disagreeing with me". And sadly that is true of many people on BOTH sides of EVERY issue.

      That's why so many on the left spend most of their effort trying to burn all the heretics. It's like the fucking Spanish Inquisition. It's silly and stupid and it accomplishes nothing for anyone anywhere.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 07:06:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very well said (9+ / 0-)

        To add, note the common denominator in those he complains about:

        The pro-gun democrats, the pro-corporatist democrats the bean counter democrats, yes, the libertarian democrats...
        They're all DEMOCRATS. Imagine that, DEMOCRATS on a blog dedicated to electing more and better Democrats. Heaven forfend.
        Sometimes I think those of us who are dedicated to justice need an alternate site.
        That, I can certainly agree with. If you think Democrats behaving like apologists for Democratic principles is a problem then indeed maybe you're on the wrong site. If you want the site to have a different objective, convince the owner. Until then, don't be offended there are Democrats here.
      •  Sorry, there's a lot of bullshit in that comment. (0+ / 0-)

        Much of it already addressed by geomoo in your exchange with him the other day.

        Essentially, it seems to me, you refuse to acknowledge the fact that there are people whose sole intent is to disrupt for the sake of disrupting.

        To you, apparently, no one who is disagreeing stridently and continuously, even after the entire basis for the "disagreement" has been debunked with facts, could be up to no good.

        They get to repeat the same factually disproven falsehoods in as many subsequent comments and across as many diaries as they choose, with impunity and without ever having to worry about being suspected of ill intent.

        All of those folks who sign up here and start posting blatant RW talking points? Not trolls, apparently. They're just "disagreeing."




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 01:36:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  sorry, but there's not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poco

          As you confirm, to many "trolling" simply means "disagree with me".

          We see this here every day, in issues like the gun debate, the rox/sux debate, and Ray's "help help I'm being repressed" "debate". Both sides think they've "factually disproven !!!" the other, and both sides accuse the other side of "trolling". Really what both sides are doing is "disagreeing with each other". And like any other religious faith, neither side LIKES being disagreed with.

          All of those folks who sign up here and start posting blatant RW talking points? Not trolls, apparently. They're just "disagreeing."
          Strawman and evasion.  Leftists who disagree with you are not "posting RW talking points". They are disagreeing with you.  Sorry if you don't like being disagreed with.  (shrug)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 01:59:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

            First, I "confirmed" nothing.

            Second, you neglected to mention one very significant site-wide debate in your list of example "debates:"

            The NSA/Snowden/Surveillance debate. I have been following it since day one on this site. I've read and participated in many if not most of the diaries discussing this topic.

            You apparently weren't around for it, because if you had been, and were paying attention, you would have noticed that the normal "disagreeing" you perceive as happening in those other debates was taken to a much different level, by the same group of people, several of whom registered after Snowden's first leak, and some of whom haven't been seen since. So what you might dismiss as disagreement in those other debates morphed into something much more relentless, repetitive, and sustained. It still exists to this day.

            So I most certainly do not accept your view that these types of activities aren't happening.

            And no, my RW troll example wasn't a straw man.

            I never said anything about "Leftists who disagree with me posting RW talking points."  I don't know where you got that from, so I must conclude that you're dishonestly misrepresenting my position in a way that I never intended or even implied.

            It was me applying what I see to be your outlook on trolling/disagreeing to a universally-recognized example we see on this site all the time -- RedStater registering to..wait for it...post RW talking points!

            You made it sound like disagreeing can NEVER be read as trolling, and I gave you an example if how it could.

            I can already see why geomoo became exasperated with you, so I'll say goodbye, and wish you a happy Sunday.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 03:28:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  strawman (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              serendipityisabitch, poco, doroma

              First, it isn't necessary to be a "paid troll" to be on EITHER side of the Snowden rox/sux debate.  There are thousands of legitimate members here on either side.  So the ones who happen to disagree with you are not "paid trolls" just because they disagree with you.

              Yeah, so one goober from Redstate came here to troll.  Just like some of us do to Redstate.  So what.  That doesn't mean the CIA is out to get us. Nor does it mean that everyone who disagrees with you is a paid troll.  

              I didn't say there were no RW trolls here.  They troll us, just like we troll them.

              What I said was (1) they don't matter, and (2) hunting them down only causes more disruption and chaos than the trolls do themselves.

              As you demonstrate so clearly.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 03:42:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'll add that if you are really worried about the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharon Wraight, poco, erratic
          folks who sign up here and start posting blatant RW talking points
          The last few dozen that I've seen, barring long time sleepers, have been out of here after usually one, sometimes up to 3, comments. Besides, you know that. You've been doing a superb job on spam, and I think I've seen your name on a few RW comment HRs, though I'm not sure how many you usually have left over after the morning spam run.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 02:33:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  HR's are generally another area where "trolling" (4+ / 0-)

            accusations are often used just as an excuse to ding someone who disagrees with you. In my years here I haven't given out more than a dozen HRs, and nearly all of those went to rock-crusher spammers. (Unlike the normal "trolls" in comments, the spam diaries DO have a real-world effect here, by pushing legit diaries down to the bottom of the "Recent" list and reducing their visibility--so I always HR them to have them removed.)

            In some arenas, such as the gun "debates", there seemed to have been, at least in the past, a deliberate tactic on the part of some to puppy-pile the HRs on the opposition at the flimsiest excuse, in a concerted effort to get people autobanned.

            It is of course a general characteristic of ideologues of ALL types that they cannot even conceive of the possibility that anyone anywhere can honestly disagree with them---after all, the ideologues are self-evidently correct ("FACTUALLY PROVEN!!!"), and therefore anyone who disagrees with them, especially after the "factual proof!!!" has been given to them (and of course rejected), MUST be either intolerably stupid or just deliberately trolling. Because after all, how can you be POSSIBLY be just honestly disagreeing with me when it's so bloody obvious that I'm right? (sigh)

            We see that here ALLLLLLL the time.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:31:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes (sigh). (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              poco, erratic

              So far my HRs, aside from those for spam, have been confined to pretty egregious insults (I think, though there's no quick way to check back).

              I've never figured out how to "factually" prove a political argument, in any case. Consensual reality is distinct enough from scientific reality that the whole idea of "standards of proof" is kind of skewed.

              Still, the question has gotten a bit less pressing since admin decided to limit the number of HRs available in a given day, and started intensively tracking who gives them out and in what order. A useful change, that.

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:01:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The trolls used to stand on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch

    soapboxes on street corners and spew hatred for blacks or Jews or immigrants and a crowd would gather and either sign up for whatever hate group was on offer or ridicule and scream the creep off the soapbox.

    Every time in history that the creep was allowed to sway the social commentary, some group lost their rights or their lives.

    You think trolling is harmless and that we should let the trolls troll, then you learned nothing from history.

    "The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing"

    'Don't be a Sucker' was made in the 1940s as an anti-Nazi propaganda campaign. See what life was like back then, then come back and tell my that right wing trolls are not dangerous to civilization.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

     

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