Wattree's picture


    Beneath the Spin*Eric L. Wattree


    The GOP knows there's not a chance in the world that they're going to get anything but the most clueless among Black voters. But they have a way around that - they don't have to get the Black vote; all they have to do is get as many Black voters as possible NOT to vote for the opposition. So every election cycle they trot out a collection self-serving Black people to trash the Democratic Party.  Think about it - how many of you think that Ben Carson has any chance in the hell of getting the Republican nomination for President of the United States, or Herman Cain in the 2012 election?  Neither of these men have,or had, any chance whatsoever of getting redneck conservatives to vote for them, yet, every election cycle the GOP will trot out weak-minded and/or self-serving Black men to confuse Black voters and spew the racist stupidity that they're not allowed to engage in - like Tavis Smiley's idiotic comment that Black people don't have a reason to vote.  This has become a tradition, because the GOP found out during the 2000 election that it works.
     But unfortunately, every Black person who comes trotting out during the election cycles to attack the Democrats aren't Republicans (or at least, not publicly DECLARED Republicans).  These people have their own agendas - egotism, money, self-promotion, spitefulness, etc. - so they're the most insidious of all, because their agendas aren't as transparent as Black Republicans.  Two such people are the Walmart-sponsored Tavis Smiley and the ego-sponsored Cornel West.  If you'll notice, they always time their book tours to coincide with a national election. In the 2012 election they were riding around on a bus during their "Poverty Tour"and  promoting their book by bad-mouthing the Democratic Party. Then, after the election, they all but disappeared.  The same was true during the 2014 election that gave us a Republican Majority in the senate.  There's definitely a pattern here, so we thought we'd start educating the people right now so they won't be hoodwinked in the 2016 election, because the next election is not simply crucial, but quite probably the most important election in this nation's history. 
    The GOP has become dangerously radical since Obama has been president. It seems that having a Black man in the White House has, literally, driven many radical conservatives over the edge, and when we add the fact that they realize that the demographics are against them and growing worse with every day that passes, they've become not only dangerously radical, but desperate, without limits (as clearly demonstrated by the Republican 47 treason letter), mean-spirited, and well financed, and that doesn't bode well for America.
    A graphic example of just how far over the edge the GOP has slipped can be seen in a quote by a radical conservative retired general. Retired general, and FOX News analyst , Paul Vallely, is quoted as telling the Arizona Tea Party Patriots, "I had a call this afternoon from Idaho. The gentleman said, ‘If I give you 250,000 Marines to go to Washington, will you lead them?’" Vallely said as the group laughed and gasped. "I said, ‘Yes, I will, I’ll surround the White House and I’ll surround the Capitol building, but it’s going to take physical presence to do things" (http://thinkprogress.org/security/2014/01/28/3213361/retired-army-genera...).
    It wasn't just the general's words that are chilling, because he could be just another garden variety lunatic, but his words betrayed the fact that such a treasonous action is even being contemplated. Also troubling is the fact that he can openly say such a thing without it being front page news, and he's still walking around free. He should have been immediately arrested, FORCED to divulge who asked him such a question, and then THEY should have been arrested for conspiracy against the United States government. I mean, who has enough clout to provide ANYBODY with 250,000 Marines? Maybe it was all just the bluster of a ultra-conservative wing-nut fool, but we should make absolutely sure of that.
    In addition, the general's words reveals a mindset that suggests that if the GOP manages to win the White House and both houses of congress (they already have the courts) in the 2016 election, America will never be the same again, because due to the rapidly changing demographics, they can't allow it to remain the same.  If they did, the Republican Party could very possibly suffer the fate of the Whig Party of the 19th Century. So the GOP and their filthy rich cronies will never relinquish power again, regardless to WHAT they have to do.  Even as we speak they're trying to disenfranchise a large segment of the population, and since they are clearly without limits, there's telling how far they will go to remain in power - and yes, I know what I'm suggesting, and it can happen here.  Again, Reagan, Bush, Cheney, and the Republican treasonous 47 has already demonstrated that the GOP has absolutely no since of limits, and they are completely oblivious to the United States Constitution.
    That brings me back to the handful of clueless, Black self-serving idiots among us. We cannot allow them to dilute the Black vote again. So here's a snapshot and brief  history of two of the most prominent among them:

    During the 1960s J. Edgar Hoover disrupted the Civil Rights movement by using provocateurs to infiltrate the various civil rights groups and disrupt their activities. The operation was called "Cointelpro." One tactic that was used was to have loud and disruptive Judas goat "super-militants" join the groups and divide the membership by accusing the groups' leadership of being weak, or "Uncle Toms." That seems to be the very tactic that Cornel West has been using very effectively every since the 2000 election where he was very effective in helping to get George W. Bush elected.

    In a previous article, The "Black Prophetic" Mouth of Cornel West is At It Again - And As Usual, Just In Time To Sabotage Democrats In The Upcoming Election, I pointed out the following:

    After Ralph Nader was rejected for the 2000 presidential nomination by the Democratic voters, instead of acknowledging his rejection and falling into line to help defeat the Republicans, Nader went into a petulant snit and ran as a third party candidate. It was clear that he purposely ran as a third party candidate with the mean-spirited intent of sabotaging the Democratic effort, because third parties never win; the only purpose that third parties ever serve is to help elect the people that you like least, because they divide the vote of like-minded people.
    Cornel West joined Nader in this foolish - or treacherous, you make the determination - campaign, and as a result, George W. Bush won the election over Al Gore by winning Florida by a mere 537 votes. The Nader/West coalition peeled off 97,488 votes from Gore in Florida alone. So when I say that Cornel West is more than a little responsible for George W. Bush becoming President of the United States, and thus, your current economic condition, don’t take my word for it – you do the math.

    Most people, if they were sincere, would look at the disastrous results of their activities and be devastated. After all, causing Bush to be elected was the worst possible outcome for everything West is SUPPOSE to represent. So most people would conclude that they had made a grave error, and that they would never do anything to divide the progressive vote again. But not Cornel West, he teamed up with Ralph Nader yet again in the 2012 election against Obama, and tried do the very same thing that they'd done in the 2000 election that resulted in Bush's presidency. The only thing that stopped them was, this time the people weren’t buying it.
    So yes, in September of 2011 Ralph Nader and Cornel West teamed up to try to sabotage the Democratic Party yet again. They canvassed the country for Democratic opponents to challenge Obama in the primaries. According to Nader, "Without debates by challengers inside the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries, the liberal/majoritarian agenda will be muted and ignored." And he goes on to say, "The one-man Democratic primaries will be dull, repetitive, and draining of both voter enthusiasm and real bright lines between the two parties that excite voters." What he failed to say, however, was it kept the liberal voice solid and united. So if Nader and West had been successful, they would have divided the Democratic Party just enough for Mitt Romney to squeak out a victory, and the nation would now be under conservative leadership. Now, just take a moment and think about what life would have been like for poor people then - especially poor Black people.  But did the illustrious Cornel "I love My People" West care about that?  Not a bit.
    Proof That The Ralph Nader/Cornel West Coalition Purposely Helped Bush Become President
    Outside Magazine, August 2000:
    If California tips Green enough, Bush could win the state and the whole damn election. Which, Nader confided to Outside in June, wouldn't be so bad. When asked if someone put a gun to his head and told him to vote for either Gore or Bush, which he would choose, Nader answered without hesitation: "Bush." Not that he actually thinks the man he calls "Bush Inc." deserves to be elected: "He'll do whatever industry wants done." The rumpled crusader clearly prefers to sink his righteous teeth into Al Gore, ... [and] concludes with the sotto voce realpolitik of a ward heeler: "If you want the parties to diverge from one another, have Bush win." 
    So Cornel West is a man who should be watched very closely. Another clear demonstration of just how untrustworthy, disingenuous, and wishy-washy West can be is how he tried to revise history after Barack Obama won the 2008 election. When Barack Obama won the Presidency and didn’t roll out the red carpet to the White House for West, he tried to frame the situation in a way that made Obama look like an ingrate. He complained that after he went out campaigning for Obama, he couldn’t even get a returned phone call from the newly elected Obama. But he failed to point out what a fool he acted on Tavis Smiley’s "State of Black America" broadcast on the very day that Obama threw his hat in the ring to run for President. He all but flat-out alleged that Obama couldn’t be trusted. He even asked Obama, "Where’s your money coming from?" But in spite of that, when it became clear that Obama could actually win, only THEN did Cornel West jump the fence on Tavis Smiley and started campaigning for Obama. 
    So the question is, why would West campaign for someone that he insisted couldn’t be trusted, in the first place? The answer is very simple - Cornel is "Have Mouth, Will Travel." He jumps on board whatever train he thinks is going his way. At the time that the video below was shot, West benefited from the exposure that he could gain from Tavis Smiley, and since it was assumed that Hillary Clinton was going to win the election, West had everything to gain by slamming Obama for not coming to kiss Tavis' ring on Tavis' dog-n-pony show. But again, when it became clear that Obama just might win, West jumped the fence on Tavis Smiley and started grinning in Obama's face - and without a bit of shame.


    So, what incentive does a high-profile Black man have to turn on his own people and play this Judas Goat role?


    In his article, "My Republican Party has Abandoned Me," Black Republican activist, Raynard Jackson, says the following: 
    "For many years, I have approached the party and its supporters about underwriting programs to bring together Blacks who are Republican or lean Republican so we can weave them into every facet of the party structure. The answer is always, No! But, twice this year some of these same people have approached me about funding for some election year tricks that they (White Republicans) have conjured up and simply need a Black face to execute the plan. On these two separate occasions, these funders were willing to spend upwards of$20 million to have me organize a national campaign to identify Blacks who would be critical of President Obama." (http://www.freedomsjournal.net/2012/10/31/my-republican-party-has-abandoned-me/)
    Now, I want to make it clear that I have no evidence whatsoever that West is being paid by the GOP,  but with that kind of money up for grabs, everybody bears scrutiny. And in that regard, consider the following. First, Cornel West helped Bush get elected in the 2000 election, which led to Black misery - at least, additional Black misery - and then he scurried back into his ivory tower to command $30,000 a speech to DISCUSS Black misery. Then later, he rode all across the country on a bus professing to love poor minorities, while sitting next to a man (Tavis Smiley) who was involved in a scam that caused 30,000 poor minorities to lose their homes and life savings in what the Justice Department says was the second largest housing discrimination case in the history of this country. Now, he’s telling us that Black misery is Obama's fault!!!? A person would have to be a fool to believe that, but obviously, there's plenty of them out there.
    Now, anyone who owns a radio or television set knows that Cornel West went to Ferguson, specifically, to get a photo op of himself being arrested, and to publicize the fact that he has a new book out - I’m surprised he didn’t have a copy of it to show the cameras at the arrest site. West seemed to have deep passion for the underclass there in Ferguson, but it didn’t prevent him from waiting until his book came out to join the protest. It was worth it to Cornel West to spend 10 minutes in jail for the hundreds of thousands of dollars of publicity resulting from the photo op. If they wouldn't have arrested Cornel along with all the White folks that were arrested, he would have filed a discrimination suit - "How come I couldn't go to jail with the White folks, because I was Black?" 
    What many people fail to realize is that Cornel West is the consummate opportunist. Again, West showed great passion in Ferguson, but that’s because he has a new book out and there’s an election coming up, so the Ferguson arrest gives him more television time to sell his book and slam the Democrats before the election. He and Tavis Smiley used the EXACT same tactic just before the 2012 election when he and Tavis Smiley went out on their "Poverty Tour." But after the election, and after they had sold all the books they could sell, they essentially dropped off the radar. That's their method of operation - they just do "drive-bys" to pickup photo ops, and to stir up dissension in the community. That helps the GOP, and Tavis' sponsor, Wal-Mart - the only thing that keeps Tavis' head above water, likes that.
    Scott Collins of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "The sluggish economy and reduced corporate spending have threatened the show's viability. But luckily for Smiley, Wal-Mart, a longtime sponsor, stepped up again, this time with a three-year commitment." 
    That explains why, their "love for the poor" notwithstanding, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West were nowhere to be found during the Wal-Mart demonstrations that were being held all across the country - and that was in spit of the fact that one of the demonstrations was being held right down the street from Smiley’s office. They didn't even so much as bother to send a postcard of support.
    Days before the demonstrations, I even challenged them to come and speak-out against Wal-Mart’s abuse of the working poor, and then PREDICTED that they weren’t going to show up. I knew they weren’t going to show up because they were both benefiting from Wal-Mart. So while Cornel West may claim to "love" the poor and downtrodden, there are very specific limits to that love. 
    .Prior to the 2014 election that created a Republican majority in United States Senate, West just happened to see fit to publicly  announce that he didn’t vote in 2012. Is he serious!!!?  What kind of Black educator is he!!!? Doesn’t he realize how many people died for our right to vote? He claims to love the poor, but he would rather NOT vote than to vote against the people who would rather shutdown the government than to provide jobs, affordable healthcare, extended unemployment insurance, and food stamps for the poor? And he claims to hate killing and war, yet, he would rather NOT vote than to vote against the people who lied to go to war, and then killed over a million people in Iraq? Such a position strains the limits of credulity.
    Doesn’t West have the intelligence to realize that there is no such thing as not voting, and that failing to vote for one side is a vote for the other? I think he does. I think he understands that fact very well. That’s why he publicized it, to influence his followers to follow suit - which again, benefits the GOP. There are two ways for the GOP to win an election, by either getting MORE Republicans to vote, or getting more Democrats NOT to vote, and that’s EXACTLY what Cornel West has been doing EVERY election since he helped to get George W. Bush elected - dividing the Democratic vote. It’s happening so often, and so consistently, it’s beginning to look like it's his assigned role.
    So one of two things have to be at work here - either West knows exactly what he’s doing and is scamming the people, or he’s the dumbest so-called intellectual that the Black community has ever produced. But either way, he’s not a person that anyone with sense would want to listen to.
    Mr. Smiley, do you intend to return the Millions of dollars that you reportedly made from herding poor Black people and Hispanics into the Wells Fargo “Ghetto Loan” Scam to the people who lost their homes and life savings. According to the United States Department of Justice, it was the second largest housing discrimination case in the nation's history.  And Dr. West, in your learned opinion - and in accordance with the "Black prophetic tradition," of course - what is the appropriate course of action for your good friend and associate to take in this matter? 
    A discrimination lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice, and several articles, including one seeded on Newsvine entitle, Tavis Smiley - "Ghetto Loan" Peddler for Wells Fargo,” closely associates PBS talk show host, Tavis Smiley, with the Wells Fargo Bank scam targeting poor and middle-class Black and Hispanic borrowers. The article quotes Kelvin Boston, host of "Moneywise, and Keith Corbett, of the Center for Responsible Lending, as calling Tavis Smiley “the big draw” of the Wells Fargo scam. Specifically, the article states the following:
    “Smiley was the keynote speaker, and the big draw, according to Boston [host of “Moneywise”] and Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, who attended two of the seminars. Smiley would charge up the audience — and rattle the Wells Fargo executives in attendance — by launching into a story about how he hated banks, and how they used to refuse to lend him money for his real estate projects in Compton, Calif., and elsewhere... But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the "Wealth Building" seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
    “Wells' plan for the seminars all along was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building, the suit charged. And the seminars were a part of the bank's overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans, the suit said.”
    Subsequent to the law suit, Richard Prince reported in The Washington Independent that Smiley issued a statement indicating that he would sever all ties with Wells Fargo until charges that the company steered minorities into higher-rate loans are resolved. The article went on to say,
    “Wells Fargo sponsored Smiley’s radio show on Public Radio International, and underwrote the annual C-Span-televised “State of the Black Union” conference that Smiley organizes. Smiley’s foundation also distributed Wells Fargo materials to young people at foundation events, he told Journal-isms.
    ‘“I cut everything off with Wells Fargo,’ Smiley declared. He said the move cost ‘a lot of money’; he said he did not know how much.”

    Now think about this.  Here's a man who claims to be qualified to second-guess the President of the United States, and he didn't even have sense enough to hire an expert to evaluate the loans that he's helped to heard thousands of poor minorities - that he's claims to love - into?  It boggles the mind - and he's STILL flapping his lips!  What kind of idiocy is motivating this man!!!?
    On July 12, 2012 Charlie Savage reported in the New York Times that Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay $175 million to settle the discrimination suit which, according to the Department of Justice, targeted over 30,000 Black and Hispanic borrowers for subprime loans with a higher interest rate than for similarly situated White borrowers between 2004 and 2009.
    In a statement by Wells Fargo put out after the bank agreed to a settlement of $175 Million, they said that while not admitting to any wrong doing, Wells Fargo agreed to a settlement of the law suit because the bank felt that it was the right thing to do. 
    CNNMONEY quoted Mike Held, president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, as saying, "Wells Fargo is settling this matter because we believe it is in the best interest of our team members, customers, communities and investors to avoid a long and costly legal fight, and to instead devote our resources to continuing to contribute to the country's housing recovery."
    The settlement includes Wells Fargo paying the Black and Hispanic victims of discrimination $125 million in compensation, and an additional $50 million in down-payment assistance to borrowers in the affected communities. 
    So the question that remains is, if Wells Fargo Bank feels that paying compensating to the poor and middle-class victims of this scam is the right thing to do, shouldn’t Tavis Smiley, the most strident advocate of “accountability” and fervent crusader for the interest of the poor, feel obliged to do the same? Certainly, benefiting from the misery of the poor and minority community would run counter to Mr. Smiley's zeal for the need of the powerful to maintain accountability.
    We’d also like to put that question to Smiley’s friend and associate, Dr. Cornel West. What do you think your good friend and associate should do, Dr. West? What does the “prophetic tradition” dictate is the proper course of action?
    We’ll be anxiously awaiting your response.
    And by the way, just like Cornel West, Tavis also sent out a message to Black voters that was FEATURED on Fox News.
    “No Good Reason To Vote ‘If You’re Black Or Brown, Other Than Helping To Save The Democrats’ Hide."
    A Los Angeles Times article said the following:
     "Unlike most TV hosts, who simply do their jobs and collect a paycheck from a network, Smiley has to go out and raise most of the money for his program, which costs between $7 million and $8 million a year to produce. PBS generally contributes about $1 million of that sum. The rest comes from corporate sponsors, which Smiley has to round up himself.
    "The sluggish economy and reduced corporate spending have threatened the show's viability. But luckily for Smiley, Wal-Mart, a longtime sponsor, stepped up again, this time with a three-year commitment. (PBS can only offer a maximum of two years on renewals because, as a government-supported entity, it must be periodically authorized by Congress.) But Wal-Mart covers only about a quarter of the costs" (http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/12/entertainment/la-et-st-tavis-smi...).
    We'll let you connect the dots.


    Eric L. Wattree 
    [email protected]
    Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
    Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.


    There will be voices saying that there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. This is a blatant lie. The black community realizes that the GOP does not want them to vote. The GOP supports the voting a religious rights of corporations while it stomps on blacks. Jeb Bush openly supports the "Stand Your Ground" law that he signed into law in Florida. The law aided and abetted the homicide of Trayvon Martin. The Republicans are our natural enemies. There is no Republican candidate who would as President act to stop voter suppression. Rand Paul gives mild lip service, but defaults to State's Rights.

    The mess in Ferguson, Missouri is a prime example of what happens to black communities that don't vote on a local level. Hopefully the new members on the city council will start to turn things around in the city. On a state level we see what Republican Governors do to black communities. There are Special Masters in Michigan and union busting nationwide. 

    If you don't vote, you are participating in your own suicide. West may come around in his black funeral suit telling people to stay home. I think that there is enough fear of the GOP to encourage black turnout.


    I completely agree with you, and I hope your right about Black voter turnout, but I'm not sure. Many people are so distracted and so caught up in their own lives that they don't seem to see the big picture. I came face-to-with that horrifying recognition yesterday. I was trying to connect the dots for my OWN woman yesterday. She was listening intently, and she understood exactly what I was saying, but she didn't seem to be able to wrap her head around the seriousness of the situation. When I was done, she simply said, "Wow!"  Then she started talking about the CD she's working on.  I think one of the problems that we have in the Black community is we tend to be more REACTIVE than proactive, and that is a serious problem during these dangerously dire times.

    Breaking news - women ignore men 90% of the time with no discernible negative consequences.

    I do not agree.

    I think these women just ignore you because you are so goddamn ugly.


    To tell you the truth Eric, I get more out of reading one of your long rants than I get out of two hours at Huffpo. hahahah

    The Wells Fargo thingy is the funniest thing I have read in a month.



    That is all I got!

    Dick, if it was really the 2nd biggest housing discrimination case in history and they settled for only $175 million, you should be pissed at the Department of Justice, and not Cornell West (who wasn't involved aside from the "crime" of being friends with Travis Smiley).

    Obama built his early career and reputation on scams with Rezko and other developers of heavily government-subsidized housing projects that soon fell apart. But it'll be a cold day in hell before Wattree will dig into a Chicago scandal.


    The Grove Parc situation was an abomination. The Obama administration worked to correct the problem. http://thechicagocitizen.com/news/2014/oct/01/grant-woodlawn-park-replac...

    Hard to say whether it 'fixed the problem" or just spent $31 million for a new complex on the ruins of the other. E.g. if they built 420 new apartments on a different plot of land, would it be "fixing" Grove Parc as well, or just addressing a housing shortage? In short, the ripoffs occurred, and hopefully a new round of public housing funding will be less corrupt.

    Thank you, Richard.
    Much of the money that Tavis makes goes toward keeping him visible.  Tavis Smiley doesn't get paid to be on the air - he pays THEM. Some of the money also went toward financing he and Cornel's former radio show, but being the loyal friend he is, Cornel West has severed his ties with Smiley since Smiley has lost favor with the Black community.

    Tavis Smiley, L.A. Times

    "Unlike most TV hosts, who simply do their jobs and collect a paycheck from a network, Smiley has to go out and raise most of the money for his program, which costs between $7 million and $8 million a year to produce. PBS generally contributes about $1 million of that sum. The rest comes from corporate sponsors, which Smiley has to round up himself.

    "The sluggish economy and reduced corporate spending have threatened the show's viability. But luckily for Smiley, Wal-Mart, a longtime sponsor, stepped up again, this time with a three-year commitment. (PBS can only offer a maximum of two years on renewals because, as a government-supported entity, it must be periodically authorized by Congress.) But Wal-Mart covers only about a quarter of the costs."

    This is one of the things that makes Smiley's association with Walmart so troubling. How are you going to go all over the country claiming to be the champion of the poor and your closest business association is Walmart, a charter member of ALEC, and the most abusive corporation of the working poor in America? And the irony is, it has been reported that Walmart sponsored his "Poverty Tour" during the 2012 election!

    But I expect Walmart to drop him soon, because he's become so hated in the Black community that he's no longer of use to them.  And he knows this - that's why he paid $30,000 to buy himself a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and recently put on a wig and went on Dancing With The Stars. He's trying to maintain his relevance.  That's also why I write so many articles on he and Cornel West (30 or more), because I'm trying to hasten their departure - I want to see them go the route of Amos 'n Andy - and it looks like it's working. Six of Smiley's longtime producers all resigned in tandem, and he's threatening one of his former staff with legal action for speaking out against him. Both Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are world-class turds who can't even trust one another. 


    Image result for Wattree, Tavis Smiley

    Wattree, for the umpteenth time - Michelle Obama does appearances with Wal-Mart for organic foods. Silence on your part. How is Obama's cooperation with Wal-Mart better or more justifiable than Smiley's?  Is Wal-Mart really the best example of healthy eating she could find? But still I'm glad she's promoting healthy eating - no need on my part to write nastygrams about her for 5 years running.

    Additionally, Wal-Mart ended its membership in ALEC 3 years ago - but you trudge on, ignoring that inconvenient fact. How do you justify broadcasting outdated info?

    You can verify companies that left ALEC here.


    Obama minimum wage $10.10

    Walmart salary $10


    Michelle Obama is not DEPENDING on Wal-Mart for her survival. And as for Wal-Mart ending it's membership with ALEC, that was for business purposes. ALEC developed a toxic reputation. That doesn't mean that Wal-Mart and ALEC has ended their ASSOCIATION. Wake up!  

    What are you, Tavis' brother, or Tavis himself?  That's why I don't even bother to respond to you. You're always talking dumb shit while hiding behind a screen name. Use you name, then we can talk. I don't want to have a discussion with someone who's both dumb, AND don't even have the courage of their convictions. That allows you to say the most stupid shit on Earth and not have to answer for it. What I don't understand is why you even bother to read what I posts. It's also suspicious.   If we were on Facebook I would have blocked your trolling ass 2 years ago. I tried to ask you nicely over a year ago - Don't bother me, because I have absolutely NO respect for your opinion. When you see my name just keep moving.

    I think you're the one with a problem. You can't handle criticism though you dish it out constantly. I've had several run ins with PP that became very acrimonious but I can't think of a single reason he should be banned. There were occasional and rare nasty outbursts that I thought he should have been warned about. Maybe he was, I'm not privy to the inner workings of the site. But banned? For what, besides disagreeing with you?

    I don't know what the folks running this site want, but it's set up to make discussion easy and clear. On most other sites it's hard to even follow the dialog with comments posted by time rather than in a tree format. You seem to have problems with vigorous debate. By now you should have become used to it here.

    Re-read my comment SLOWLY and carefully, and show me where I said PP should be banned. I didn't. I said that I don't want to be bothered with him, and I would block him from being able to communicate with ME. The reason for that is I have a very low threshold for bullshit.
    I have absolutely no problem with people disagreeing with me.  That's how were grow, through engaging one another. But I've been dealing with this guy long enough to know that he has absolutely NOTHING to add to any discussion. He has a silly, contrarian nature.  You can say the Sun is hot, and he'll come back asking, "Compared to what?"  I don't have time to get into spitball fights. I gave up spitball when I stopped playing in the sandbox at about age 9. I don't deal with immature mentalities.  I don't have time for it. Life is too short.
    Every newspaper, every nook,
    I see blatant bullshit wherever I look.
    Prolific bullshit, 
    pro and con,
    Man deceiving man, 
    like human pawns.
    Bullshit our children 
    whenever we can
    On the role of government, 
    and the sojourn of man;
    We bullshit the people 
    regarding their lot,
    While failing to address 
    the conservative plot.
    And now I hear even Santa's a myth,
    So even my mother got caught up in this.

    My threshold for Bullshit is extremely low,
    I sense him wherever he hides;
    While Langston Hughes has known his rivers,
    I've known Bullshit in every disguise:

    Known bullshit lovers of innocent women,
    Who fades with a piece a ass,
    I've known bullshit preachers who loved the Lord,
    But not nearly as much as your cash;
    I've known bullshit politicians, 
    who "Just want to help" 
    Right up til they get your vote,
    Then after reciting their bullshit oath
    can't wait to start cuttin' your throat.
    Yes,Bullshit's a stalker who seems to haunt me;
    I see him wherever I go--
    On the street, in the store,
    In the eyes of my lover,
    Though I try to deny that it's so.

    I used to 
    Simply shut my eyes, 
    so I wouldn't see him no more,
    But my ears betrayed me and--
    Knock, Knock, Knock--
    "It's Bullshit. Open the door!"
    I came up with a plan to take a stand, and 
    Confront Bullshit wherever he hides;
    Like the terrorist he is, you must weed him out,
    By confronting him where he resides.
    I learned
    That shit will be shit because shit is shit's nature,
    So it's really not Bullshit's fault;
    It's the fault of the people for embracing ignorance,
    For the enemy of Bullshit is thought.


    Blocked, banned, different choice of words without a significant difference in meaning.

    You pat yourself on the back for calling out bullshit but you're full of bullshit much of the time. People call you on your bullshit all the time. That's one thing we do very well here. Frankly you can't handle lively debate. You want a monologue or the fawning agreement you get from rmrd.

    If PP's arguments were so worthless you could ignore them because it would be obvious to all. If his arguments were so flawed you could demolish them in a few sentences. But you can't which gives the lie to your theory that he has nothing to add.

    As I've said I do think there have been occasions were I thought PP crossed a line and should have been warned, But for all the vehement disagreements and even angry retorts I've had with him I value his contributions to this site much more than I value your's. So you see people's opinions can differ

    Wattree and I agree on many things. It may be because we have has similar life experiences. He goes after West and Smiley because they make frequent appearances in the Black community. That have encouraged people to stay home in the past. They both have written recent books about MLK Jr and call Blacks who disagree with them "Negroes". Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

    Wattree and I do disagree on where the Bible fits in the scope of things but likely agree on spirituality and the meaning of Christianity for the most part.

    I focus on the GOP's voter suppression efforts, which you call my schtick. I do point out the accomplishments of the Obama administration.i don't care if you tire of my pointing out voter suppression or accomplishments of the Obama administration. I  also tend to go on about police  abuse and the history of racial issues in the U.S. I don't care if you tire of that as well.

    You get to do your schtick, I get to do mine. Personal fear of harm from local police is higher on my radar than theoretical fear of NSA right now. I think the courts can reel in government surveillance. On the other hand, I am not convinced that juries formed to try homicides secondary to police actions in South Carolina or Oklahoma will actually result in convictions. BTW many jurisdictions use voting rolls as a source to select juries. Suppression of voting may impact who gets to sit on a jury.



    I post what I think, you post what you think. We sometimes disagree, argue, sometimes we even criticize each other.  But I've never wished you were blocked from commenting on my posts. I've never even hinted or implied such a thing. See the difference?

    I thought the idea was to block PP on a personal Twitter or perhaps Facebook account, not at Dagblog. I think Wattree feels the only reason PP shows up on some occasions is to be a contrarian, which is fine. Wattree may be tired of the exchanges, but I don't see him asking for banning PP from Dagblog.

    I'm beginning to wonder who else is on Wattree's Enemies List and if it is as long as Nixon's Enemies List was. I did notice he is including other Black people, besides his prime targets, who might question and confront his Authorita. Eric would make a passable Emperor and even though he has no clothes he would be feared and obeyed.

    It is somewhat pathetic watching the True Believers trying to stir the dying  fires of partisan fervor that even the rubes have little interest in. More and more of them have come to realize that they will never be represented by our political class and voting only encourages the people who rule over them.

    The coming selection of our Leader will be the most boring and certainly the most demeaning exercise for the electorate in our history. All we are offered to choose from is two degenerate dynasties with a few clowns thrown in to spice the bland gruel offered and never ending lies.



    You are fee to criticize You also have no viable alternative.

    Anyone who doesn't vote is an idiot - and especially if they are Black.  The electorate in Ferguson is 71% Black, but only 10% of the Black eligible voters bothered to vote. That's why they were being shot down in the street like dogs. But they got the message this past election. The turnout nearly doubled the turnout in the rest of St. Louis, and the city council is now half Black. Black people have to become more PROACTIVE, not merely reactive, and that's EXACTLY why I stay on Tavis Smiley and Cornel West's asses. It's called educating the people - BEFORE the elections.


    From Day One, the GOP has been trying to bring down Obama's Presidency. The number 3in the House called himself David Duke with the baggage. The GOP stance on voting is clear. They hate Eric Holder who altered Federal drugs laws. They try to convince us that Rand Paul who has done nothing will be our savior when it comes to drugs. The GOP hates Holder but is willing to hold up a vote on Loretta Lynch. The GOP criteria for a Black Republican is that they first and foremost criticize the Black community. Blacks make the obvious choice at the polls. The Republicans hate us. As you note, not voting is lethal. 

    The idea that not voting will somehow bring down the corrupt system is nonsense. I've asked before how this will come about and got no answer. If enough people stop voting what will happen? Will the police stop enforcing laws? Will the local, state, and federal government stop collecting taxes? Will government officials stop enforcing regulations? What exactly do you see happening if enough people stop voting? Except that the plutocrats will get even more power.

    We get the candidates we get because most of the people either want them or do nothing to support better candidates. In other words, if people want better candidates they need to vote. You think the people are coming around to your view? Nonsense. Why don't you run if you find the current candidates unacceptable? The obvious answer is because no one would fucking vote for you.



    I'd vote for RM, and I know plenty of others who would, because we vote for common sense and intelligence. You see, some of us don't feel that we have to agree with every position that a person takes. We understand that we may not have the information that they are privy to, so we vote for character, common sense, and intelligence, and we trust in those qualities in the candidate that we vote for.Then later, if we find that we were mistaken in our judgment, we try to vote that person out of office in the next election.  

    I'm fighting with my son right now to get him to run for office, because he has the name recognition, background, connections (one of his best friends is the chief of staff of Maxzine Waters), and character to make a difference. It's one of the biggest arguments we've had since he's been in the world. He doesn't want to wallow in the mud with demagogues, but that's EXACTLY why I think he should run for congress. He insists that he doesn't want to do it, but I'm still his "daddy," and I've won every argument we've ever had - including the one that got him where is today, and I'm not going to let him forget it. Yeah, I'm pulling rank. Sometimes you've got to do that, if it's important enough.

    As for PP, think what you will.  I can simply block him from my mind, just as I've been doing for he past year or two.You can tolerate him if you like, but I look at the big picture, and I have better things to focus on.  We only have so many seconds on this Earth, and I don't plan to waste even one of them on stupidity.  For that reason, I ALWAYS ignore him, and if he writes more than a paragraph, I won't even read it.  That's what I suggest that people do with me. If you think I'm prone to write nonsense, don't read it.  Why waste your time?  But I know what I'm doing, and why. I thought it through before I put even one syllable on the screen. So arguing with me is fruitless.

    I don't post for either applause or comments; I post because I recognize that the internet has a flawless memory, and I know that due to Barack Obama historians are going to be sifting through this era for every piece of information that they can gather.  So even though this comment has "Ocean-Kat" in the heading, I'm not writing this response to you; I'm writing this to minds who are yet unborn. I write and post to the internet so posterity can see my time, through my eyes, nothing more - and I certainly don't want to leave behind a legacy of my debating an idiot. I want posterity to know that I'm above that. That's why I added this paragraph. 

    My comment was clearly addressed to Peter. In fact you, rmrd, and I all agree on the importance of voting. We all feel very strongly about it. That's why you, rmrd, and I all confronted Peter. You make mistakes like this a lot because you don't pay much attention to what other people say. You don't come here for dialog but to lecture. That's why you suggest to people who disagree with you to go away. You may post to sooth your gigantic ego in the belief you'll be remembered by history but most people come here to dialog about what we think are important issues.

    As for PP, you don't ignore him. We wouldn't be having this conversation if you did. Putting "always" in all caps doesn't make it true. You bitch, moan, and complain about him. If his comments were so worthless and stupid you should be able to destroy his arguments in less time than you spend complaining about him.

    And your belief that historians are going to be pouring over these posts is just more nonsense. No one will care what most of us write here. But even if they did it probably won't exist. Things disappear from the internet all the time. I often check the source material when I read an article. I click the links the author based his ideas on. After a few years many of them no longer work. If you need proof go to any wikipedia page and try to find the source material in the links at the bottom of the page. I do it all the time and fail in the attempt quite often. Unless its a major publication that makes the effort, and spends the money, to preserve it it gets lost.


    Put my name into Google and see how many sites EVERYTHING that I write run in - and it should be easy because there's only one Wattree family in America, so the only Eric Wattrees are me, my son, and my grandson. I get over 500 emails a day - and that's a conservative estimate. Even Barack Obama is one of my Twitter followers - and it took others to tell me that. I have thousands of things online, and I've found things online that I wrote before they even started calling it the internet and called it a bulletin board, things that I wrote on a Commodore 64 computer with 64 K of memory.  So don't tell me. I know what I'm talking about. That's how I research what I've written. 

    That you actually post on twitter is a sign of the dumbed down society you so often complain about. That Obama actually reads the garbage posted on twitter makes me consider him a greater fool than I previously thought. But with your gigantic ego it's no surprise you'd actually brag about engaging in such triviality.


    But it's not ego.  It's about knowing who, and what, you are - and I'm not going to apologize for it. When I was growing up they called me a hood rat. As a result, I made it a point to invest in myself. Now I want 'em to prove it.  I guess I'm just one of those Black people who never learned "my place" - but I'm not gonna apologize for that either.  I'm sorry it rubs you the wrong way . . . No I'm not. 

    Whatever. I think twitter is a trivial joke for white people too. But I wasn't suggesting you get off twitter  to stay in "your place." I think twitter is the perfect place for you. I think it fits you like a glove.


    You obviously don't get it. There are literally millions of people on Twitter.  Maybe you think you're above those people - though based on the thoughts that you're putting forward here I can't imagine why, but we all have our delusions. But I don't think I'm better than those people. As a matter of fact, I take great pride in being one of them. Obviously Obama feels the same way, and I thank God that's the case, because somehow I can't imagine Dick Cheney on Twitter. Much like you, he probably thinks he's above that sort of thing. 

    So while I can't speak for President Obama, I imagine that when he goes on Twitter it's about staying in touch with the pulse of the people. When I go on Twitter it's about leading the people to information that I think will be of benefit to them, and through them, to America. Thus, what you think is about as important to me as breaking news that a germ under a toilet seat in Uzbekistan decided to commit suicide.  When you're a hood rat you learn to think like that. So, once again, I find myself thanking God - this time, for my background, because I shudder to think what life would be like if every time I went to make a move I had to stop and wonder, "What would Ocean-Kat think about this?"

    And you say I have an ego!!!? Such arrogance. What you view as ego is simply a Black man who refuses to look down at his feet while he's responding to stupidity - and you're getting this from a Black man who doesn't look under every rock for evidence of racism. Learn to view life from a perspective other than your own, and I assure you, you'd be greatly entertained by the Black perspective on people who think like you.  

    Ego!!!? All I'm guilty of is thinking while Black - and for the third time in this comment, I find myself thanking God - this time, for deciding not to make you a cop. 

    You're guilty of holding grudges and either not checking facts or intentionally spouting mistruths. Nothing racial in this at all - lots of folks from all walks of life play it this way.
    Oh yeah, you come across a bit misogynist or terribly old-fashioned as well.

    There are those who when faced with factual errors double down on the error and refuse to admit that they are wrong. They should heed their own advice.

    Again you're going to obsess on Rita Parks' personal lawyer vs. the one who brought the case to the Supreme Court, rather than the biggest government surveillance case broke open by Edward Snowden.

    Since you seem to be a glutton for punishment, I'll remind of your idiocy / tribal conservatism that you must relish in as the background for the Marshall/Parks comment:

    rmrd0000 here:  "Snowden goes beyond informing the American people about the NSA outrageous surveillance program. 

    If they are successful, the lawyers will be the heroes in the fight against the NSA."

    2 years on, how did your sainted lawyers do? like shit, I'd say. Here's Mike Horowitz - part of the Inspectors General office - complaining again that the FBI & DEA regularly lie to Congress and the Inspectors General office and do not comply.

    As OceanKat pointed out in that or similar Snowden thread: "You're [sic] favorite way to argue is to make up fake questions to fight that strawman instead of addressing the points people actually make. The question is not who do you trust more."

    Your smartass comment in the case of Snowden? "A larger number of people can tell you that Thurgood Marshall was an attorney in Brown V. Board then can actually name the Brown that gives the case it's name." another way of dismissing Snowden - ignoring that more people know who Rosa Parks is - a defendant in a famous civil rights case - than Thurgood Marshall - a lawyer in many famous civil rights cases and Supreme Court justice.

    But you're going to gloat over some triviality while ignoring that you were wrong in your basic contention that only lawyers, not Snowden putting his ass on the line, still in exile, make a difference - with his contentions more and more substantiated with latest revelations about the DEA spying only adding to his value. Gloat away - I'm happy to live with my initial and still appreciative assessment of Snowden, while your American-security-above-all-else posture is only a gnats' hair away from the typical conservative's "only criminals need privacy" or conservative "he sold us out to the Chinese" stance, ignoring how that was conservative media-fed spin and ignoring the relationship to how even how the FBI made MLK's life hell with their wiretapping and tried to get him to commit suicide.

    So enjoy your little Pyrrhic victory. Snowden did us all a great favor, while your beloved lawyers didn't get a lot more sunlight into government surveillance - whether Eric Holder on the inside or ACLU on the outside - it's been a full-court press against the public knowing what's going on. Even Diane Feinstein, Ms. National Security, was distressed enough to start pointing out specific government lying. Unfortunately, most in Congress just rubber-stamped another round of retroactive pardons and permissions.

    Nice rant and nice attempt at diversion. You still cannot admit your error. It's not obsession, it's just pointing out your hypocrisy when it comes to not admitting error. It is fact not a straw man argument. You are telling Wattree that he is arrogant for not admitting factual flaws, yet here you are doing the same thing. If you criticize Wattree, criticize yourself.

    To avoid admitting error on the subject of Fred Gray, you bring up Snowden then accuse me of using Snowden for a straw man argument. You are supplying the straw. The only way change is going to come regarding the NSA is through the courts. No President is going to give up that power and Congress is hopeless. Court cases take years.

    I freely admit that my major current concern is about local law enforcement. Even when there is video of a homicide as in the Eric Garner case, juries are reluctant to hold police officers accountable. The initial response to Cleveland police killing Tamir Rice within 2 seconds, was to blame Rice for his own death. The police chief in the Tulsa area supported the idea that his pay for play cop good friend should not have been charged for shooting a suspect held down on the ground by multiple officers. The second police officer who arrived on the scene in North a Charleston, South Carolina co-signed statements that they performed CPR and failed to mention an object placed beside the victim. Police lie routinely. Ferguson was set up to oppress poor people. 

    Snowden is an arrogant, whiny guy who only faced serious question by U.S. media when satirist John Oliver asked if he considered the possible consequences of batch releasing data. Snow den provides no cover for your attempt to divert from the fact that you operate in a fashion identical to Wattree. 

    Fred Gray handled Rosa Parks as her lawyer; Thurgood Marshall handled the civil rights case up through the Supreme Court. I've forgotten other specifics at the moment. Think I dug into this 2 years ago. Anyway,  much more concerned about Snowden & US government surveillance, and while Thurgood Marshall + NAACP's attack on discrimination was very coordinated and successful, there is no successfully equivalent lawyer effort against government surveillance today, acknowledging that ACLU is at least trying.

    See below

    Thus, what you think is about as important to me as breaking news that a germ under a toilet seat in Uzbekistan decided to commit suicide.  

    I really don't get why you keep repeating this to several people here. You say it like it's a unique view, like it's something unusual here. It's like saying the sky is blue and it gets dark at night. You think you're insulting me? It's just more bullshit from the preeminent bullshit artist at dagblog. No one here gives a fuck what the other dagbloggers think of them. Not one person here stops and wonders, "What would Ocean-Kat think about this?" And not one person here stops and wonders, ""What would Wattree think about this?"

    Let's just take it as a given that you don't give a fuck what I think of you, and I don't give a fuck what you think of me, and no one here gives a fuck what you or I think of them, and no one here gives a fuck what other people here think about them.

    I also don't give a fuck about your pathetic whining that I'm picking on you because you're a black man. Everything I'm saying to you I'd say to any white person with the same personality defects you exhibit with regularity here. I know who I am and I know the grief I've taken for standing against bigots, racists, misogynist, and homophobes. I'm not just blunt, outspoken, and confrontational on the internet. I'm blunt, outspoken, and confrontational in my everyday public life. To reiterate, like everyone else here, I don't give a fuck what you think about me.

    For OK - time for some OPM - see below due to space.

    You know, I've been thinking about this as I sat down to play World of Warcraft tonight. You spend a fair amount of time telling us how smart you are. Well you are a smart guy, it's true. Perhaps you stood out in high school. In the marines you surely stood head and shoulders above the average recruit.

    But here you're just one of the gang. I have no doubt most of the people here stood out in high school. I know I did. I had the highest SAT's in my graduating class. I was head and shoulders above the average recruit when I was in the Army too. A few days after I was transferred to Japan the Sargeant Major came in to tell me the General of Camp Zama wanted to see me. "You haven't even been here a week and already the general wants to see you, what the hell did you do?"

    When I arrived in the General's office he said, I guess you're wondering why I called you in here. For years I've been looking at the GT scores that all soldiers take to enlist in the army and you're the first person with a higher GT score then me.

    Can you guess what I thought about that? I wasn't all Woo Hoo smartest dude in the army. I thought what a sad and pathetic man holding onto some stupid test as a matter of pride, even to the point of going out of his way to check every new soldier under his command as soon as they arrive to see if he's still Number One.

    So yeah, we could trade stories about how smart we are and how we out shine most of the people we meet in both intellect and knowledge. But here we're nothing special. Here we're just one of the gang. Most everyone here could do the same, we're all pretty damn smart folks here. As VA once pointed out to me, most of the people here are likely in the tenth percentile or higher in intellect.

    When ever I hear you brag about how smart and special you are to the people here, you remind me of that general. It just seems sad and pathetic.



    I was a high school dropout. I was too busy shootin' dope to worry about SAT scores, or even a diploma. I went into the Marine Corps as a deal with the judge during a sentencing hearing in order to stay out prison, and the Corps MADE me take the GED and return to school as a condition of the court. So show me a quote where I brag about how smart I am. I simply tell you how I think. I never characterize it as being either better or worse than how anyone else thinks, because I recognize that I'm good at some things and I'm clueless at others. If having the ability to write makes me brilliant, does not being able to change my oil make me stupid?  I'm going to have to call someone with the "brilliance" to fix my garage door in the morning.  He's probably gonna make $150 to turn a screw.
    So I don't even believe in IQ scores. All it measures is how good you are at taking tests. My IQ score says that I have a powerful intellect, but what it doesn't say is I guessed on a third of the answers and just got lucky. How in the hell are we going to measure something that we can't even define?  Who was more intelligent, Albert Einstein or Charlie Parker?  If you say Einstein, prove it. Albert Einstein was brilliant with numbers, Charlie Parker was brilliant with manipulating musical notes, and my auto mechanic is brilliant with transmissions. Ben Carson was a brilliant surgeon but he's a complete idiot as a politician. Who we consider more intelligent is determined by what society has decided to place more value in. So don't TELL me how smart you are - SHOW ME by the thoughts that you produce. Tests don't mean shit.

    Oh, and by the way.  Spare me that "us" and "we" shit. While I enjoy Dagblog, it's simply a place where I come to post articles and enjoy the thoughts and writings of others. That's it. Some of the people who post here I can appreciate, and others not so much. But you seem to be trying to make it sound like some sort of frat house. I'm an individual, and I look upon everyone who posts here as individuals. I don't consider it a sacred society. It's an electronic bulletin board. That's it. So take your hand away from your heart, put away your flag, and let's keep things in perspective. 


    Just a short time ago you spent a few paragraphs telling us how smart and eloquent your writing is and that you were told this by....A Jew, which you seemed to think was evidence of your knowledge of Jews and Zionism.

    I'm not surprised you've forgotten the many times you patted yourself on the back here. When you posted, "I ALWAYS ignore him" in capital letters no less, you apparently forgot that just a few comments up the page you started this whole dialog by not ignoring PP. I suspect you pay as little attention to what you post as you pay to the comments of the people you're replying to.

    You also apparently have an equally abysmal understanding of the use of pronouns in the English language. Perhaps you were zoned out on drugs when the subject was explicitly taught in school but one would think you would have picked up an understanding implicitly just from hearing, reading, and using the language. We, us, they, them, our, all those plural pronouns can refer to any group of individuals. They i.e. the group of individuals, don't have to belong to an officially recognized society, club, or get a gang tattoo. It can refer to a disparate group of individuals with divergent views.

    Since grammar is hard for some people to understand I'll include some examples from randomly chosen articles.

    Internet shaming is not the enemy: Why our conversation about online pile-ons is so warped

    We Should Have a Better Condom by Now. Here’s Why We Don’t.

    Graham to Cruz: We Tried That in South Carolina; Let's Not Try Again

    With a little thought it's fairly easy to figure out  the noun, the who or what, a pronoun is referring to by looking at the context in the preceding sentence. Of course it does require one actually read and think a little to understand the context which seems to be a problem for you. Hope that helps. Grammar isn't really all that difficult.

    Ocean-Kat, please focus on the blog post, not the blogger. Thanks.


    When Ancestry.com shuttered its social network for relatives, it erased 10 years’ worth of my family’s correspondence and memories.

    in the summer of 2014, Ancestry announced that it was shutting down MyFamily. It was OK, the company said, because we’d be able to export all the “family memories” we’d posted over the years. Ancestry community manager Cara Longpre promised in a post that “photos will be exported as .jpeg files, videos will be exported in the file format used to upload them, and discussion details will be exported as .txt files.” The site would close down for good in September 2014.

    My aunt Amy, who was always the account administrator, had no reason not to trust Ancestry’s promise to export our data. So after she downloaded the 748-megabyte zip file that putatively contained our collected correspondence

    when she finally opened the archive, a few months after MyFamily had gone to the great digital hereafter, she was horrified to find nothing but photos. More than a decade of written correspondence was missing.

    It wasn’t just us. It turns out that Ancestry didn’t bother to export discussion data for any former users. Reactions online, many from older people who ran sites to keep up with their adult children, are heartbreaking. “Several of my family website members were frequent contributors to the website as elders in the family, and all have now passed on,” wrote one former user. “We will now lose their historical memories, comments on photos, news items, recipes etc. that they left with us on the family websites. We, and they, thought we would have these memories preserved on our websites for future generations to share.”

    Ocean-Kat, you said,

    "As for PP, you don't ignore him. We wouldn't be having this conversation if you did. Putting "always" in all caps doesn't make it true. You bitch, moan, and complain about him. If his comments were so worthless and stupid you should be able to destroy his arguments in less time than you spend complaining about him."

    Again, don't TELL me what I do, SHOW me.  I've responded to PP maybe twice in the last year (if you dispute that, show me with quotes of what I've said).  and as for "bitching, moaning," I don't think I do that. All I do is respond to people who I think are worth responding to.  If you dispute that, SHOW ME one instance where I either bitched or moaned. Your problem is, you're assuming that I think like you do. My sense of self is not tied up in this.I don't see it as a competition, or me against others. I'm not competitive - that's why I'm not into sports. I think that that the only mature and constructive form of competition is to compete against the person you were the day before. So I would much rather be proven wrong and walk away more knowledgeable, than to win a debate and simply walk away with bragging rights. For me, this is simply an opportunity to either educate, or be educated. So everything you're say - and all of this competitive bluster - is nursery school sandbox is rhetoric to me.

    And no, I'm not looking down upon you, or trying to be superior, because I'm certain that there are things that you're fluent in that would make me look like a fool, but I chose to become fluent in epistimology (the science of efficient efficient thinking), and I've become pretty good at it. Maybe that's why I sound so arrogant.  But you'd sound arrogant too if you took the time to listen to the way very educated and otherwise very intelligent people think:

    "All dogs have fleas. My cat has fleas. Therefore, my cat is a dog." 

    When you're constantly confronted with that kind of thinking, and you see it EVERYWHERE, it can make you sound arrogant, because even though you know that these people are just as intelligent - and in some cases, even more "intelligent" - than you are, it makes it glaringly apparent that they've been taught WHAT to think, and not HOW to think, so you tend to develop a dismissive attitude.     

    And with regard to your contention that I tend to lecture. I don't lecture. I simply write my point of view.  After all, isn't that what writing is all about?   

    Again, don't TELL me what I do, SHOW me.  I've responded to PP maybe twice in the last year (if you dispute that, show me with quotes of what I've said).

    I think I have shown with examples from this thread. But showing you wasn't my purpose. It was to push back and challenge your point of view. Maybe other people see it, maybe they don't. It's easy to say you've only responded twice but hard to prove it. I'm certainly not going to spend my time going through all the posts over the last year and count. I doubt it was twice. I could say it was 15, prove me wrong. Neither of us are going to spend the time doing a count. Then there's the game many people play, not replying directly to a person but replying to those points of the post trough a comment to a third party. Or complaining about the person through in a reply to a third person. Rmrd is your go to person for that. As PP posted below, a public whisper campaign about a person with a third party doesn't constitute ignoring that person.

    I chose to become fluent in epistimology (the science of efficient efficient thinking), and I've become pretty good at it.

    Don't pat yourself on the back, like you said above, "Show me." Like I and others have said, you spend a lot of time patting yourself on the back. I don't think you're any better than anyone else here at epistemology and there has been quite a bit of push back from others at what some see as logical inconsistencies and a lack intellectual rigour.

    you're assuming that I think like you do.

    No, this thread is all about how we think differently and how we disagree.

    My sense of self is not tied up in this.I don't see it as a competition, or me against others. I'm not competitive - that's why I'm not into sports.

    My sense of self isn't tied up in this either. I thought I made that clear. I feel pretty much the same about you as you feel about me, as you put it, "what you think is about as important to me as breaking news that a germ under a toilet seat in Uzbekistan decided to commit suicide."

    I'm also not into sports. While I might find a game a fun diversion the competitive nature bored me. I enjoyed ping pong but I always wanted to just volley, but others always wanted to keep score. It made it less fun for me. Back in the day when houses only had one TV I used to go to my room and read when dad put the football, basketball, or baseball game on. So we agree, but what's your point? What does both of us not liking sports have to do with this thread? Bragging rights? Dude, no one cares so there's no one to brag to. And I don't believe anyone will care to read this after I'm dead. Nor am I writing to be remembered or admired by historians who won't bother to read an obscure blog by obscure bloggers anyway. I don't care what people I've never met think of me today and I care even less what people not even born yet think after I'm dead.



    First, I'm not patting myself on the back; I'm telling you what and how I think. And finally, you may feel that what I'm saying is worthless dribble, but we're not having this discussion on your post, you're here commenting on my mine, aren't you?  Why?  

    Well gee, I guess I misunderstood. You're just telling us what you think and you just happen to think you're fluent in epistemology. I sympathize because I've been misunderstood at times too.

    Just the other day I was talking to a friend who was planning a hike on the Pacific Coast trail that would take a couple of months. It sounded like a fun trip and I mentioned how played table tennis when I was young. More of a coincidence than a choice. The church I attended as a child had a table in the rec room and later the band hall in the army had one. We played a couple of hours every day and I think I've become pretty good at it.

    Later as we were discuss books we were currently reading I mentioned that my uncle gave me a boxed set of 5 Shakespeare plays when I was 11. I loved those books and over the years I've continued to read Shakespeare. I think I've become pretty good at understanding Shakespeare. Now Doc Cleveland will probably tell me it takes more than reading a bunch of plays to become a Shakespearean scholar but that's an elitist view, amirite? Some drunk sitting on a milk crate waxing poetic knows more than those elitist Harvard profs.

    Speaking of drunks damn I was drunk most of the time I spent in Japan. Unlike most of the soldiers stationed at Camp Zama I spent most every night in Tokyo talking with the people I met in the bars and jazz clubs. It was just two years but with that experience I think I've become pretty good understanding the culture and psychology of the Japanese.

    My friend then told me that I spend a lot of time patting myself on the back and I'm all like, wat? I'm just telling you what I think. I just happen to think I'm pretty good, fluent you might say. I'm sure you can relate to how frustrating that was for me.

    It must be very frustrating for you when people point out your logical inconsistencies, lack of intellectual rigor, or insufficient knowledge when you have told them how fluent you are in epistemology. You've probably said it a dozen times and if we accept the Law of Threes you've proven it true four times over. Yet some remain unconvinced.

     ``Just the place for a Snark!'' the Bellman cried, ``Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice: Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:         What I tell you three times is true.''

    When several different people are all telling me the same thing I think it's wise to pay attention. They're not always right but sometimes they're pointing out a blind spot. Being an extreme introvert I've spent a lot of time alone and I've often used it for self analysis. I think I've become pretty good at it.

    For example I mentioned reading Shakespeare as a child. My favorite play at the time was Julius Caesar. I loved the power of sarcasm in Mark Antony's speech. But over the years I've come to realize I'm too sarcastic too often. With a little work I think I've become pretty good at only using it when it's appropriate.

    "Just the place for a Snark"

    I tell you once. I tell you twice. What I tell you three times is true.

    "Let's just take it as a given that you don't give a fuck what I think of you, and I don't give a fuck what you think of me, and no one here gives a fuck what you or I think of them, and no one here gives a fuck what other people here think about them." - liquid poetry, dude - calls for a sound check



    Participating in a corrupt system, with no possibility of reforming that system, justifies, promotes and perpetuates that corrupt system. The majority of people in Amerika have no levers of power to affect our Ruling Class and many people, most in the last election, understand that and don't vote. Even if we had  100% voting the same or similar Ruling Class vetted and promoted Political Class would be installed to carry out the RC dictates. If you think we can overcome these rulers by voting for their representatives you are deluded and in denial.

    You are correct that Boycotting elections will not bring down our corrupt system, that will be if it is possible, a much more dangerous project. If the goal is to bring down a corrupt system and our election system is just one part of that corrupt system we have to start somewhere and use what little power we do have. Boycotting elections is a nonviolent symbolic shunning of a regime that serves the few, by the many.  The trend of not voting is accelerating much faster than i ever thought possible with little of it caused by Boycott advocates but soon a child wil call out 'The Emperor Has No Clothes'  and most people will have to agree.


    There is another class, lets call them the Leisure Class, who have a vested interest in maintaining our system even while calling  for reform and denouncing its excesses,. They preach conformity and regimentation to the Working Class to maintain their position and lifestyles that would definitely be reduced or eliminated if we had a true Democracy.   



    The American people have the most massive and powerful lever to affect our ruling class, the vote. Your problem, and mine to a lesser degree, is how they use it.

    What ever your political view there are smart articulate people who could run a good campaign, that would get 1% of the vote. Anarchist? If 200 anarchists were elected to the house, 50 to the senate, and the president, things would change. If an equivalent number of socialists were elected the oil companies would be nationalized for a start. If Ron Paul had been elected with equivalent numbers in the house and senate things would really have been shook up. I've not saying for the better, just that big fundamental change could easily come through the vote. Your real problem is not that people have no power and the solution isn't for more people to stop voting. Your real problem is the people aren't voting for the people who will make whatever change it is that you want.

    Our present government has the consent of the governed. Half consent with their vote, the other half by not voting. Silence gives consent. Mostly politicians don't care or even consider those who don't vote. There are at most two brief thoughts that occasionally cross a politician's mind when people don't vote. The winning side is happy they didn't come out and vote against them. The losing side wonders if there's any way they can get them out to vote for them. Other than that not voting has no effect.

    There will never be a point when "a child will call out 'The Emperor Has No Clothes'  and most people will have to agree." Before that point is reached anger will cause people to vote in a real candidate for change. It could be good or bad. It could be an FDR. Or it could be a demagogue like Cruz, or worse, perhaps someone like McCarthy. A Stalin or Hitler type is unlikely but even that is remotely possible if people get that angry.

    Sure there is discontent out there, but mild discontent changes nothing. Most people don't vote because they don't pay attention to what government does nor do they consider what it could do. They pay attention to the details of the characters on The Walking Dead and the players on the national sport teams but not the details of the workings of their government. They might blame their non voting behavior on discontent but mostly it's actually disinterest. If discontent escalates into anger enough people will pay attention and vote in change.

    The Boycott the Vote movement will never be anything but an insignificant blip in bringing about change. Because it's a movement that has given up the people's power to effect change, the vote.

    I have a slightly different take - that there are people screaming "the Emperor has no clothes" and they're teabaggers, libertarians, neocons, etc. - there's no silence for silent protests to be effective. If we had a system where 50% turnout was required for the election to be certified you could cause a reduction, but we don't have that. And our attitude towards not voting isn't "hey, these people are pissed and have a point" - it's "what a bunch of lazy unpatriotic people." The expression "if you don't vote you have no right to complain" is not empirically true, but in the US it's the accepted wisdom or framing. Few people can tell you turnouts in elections, and if they can the cure isn't for politicians to be more responsive to real voter issues - it's to have a larger GOTV push (or in the case of Republicans, low turnout is a feature, not a bug. So overall it's pretty ineffective in our system, even tho I won't criticize the actual efforts - someone may come along and pull it off just like a 3rd party candidate might one day sneak in. But still, it better be a noisy withholding of lots of votes.

    There were probably people shouting the emperor has no clothes at George Washington and ever since.  It's the second part I have yet to see. And the people will have to agree. Most of the rest of your post refutes that second part. I'd have more respect for the movement if they advocated voting for an off party. On virtually every ballot there are a few "third" parties. Even if they couldn't find agreement on which one and even if they disagreed with all the positions of those third parties if each of three off parties lost with ten million votes that would catch the politicians attention.

    But it would never happen because imo most of the non voters aren't making any sort of statement beyond politics=boring basketball=interesting TV=very interesting. Those in the Boycott the Vote movement wouldn't even try this plan because they know it would fail and discredit the movement even more than it's currently discredited. Now they can pretend they have some sort of influence and success by pretending the disinterested are actually on their side.

    The real problem is that voting registration is not automatic. Voter registration is about suppressing the vote. Registration was initially used to make sure that immigrants did not vote. The current registration nonsense is about keeping blacks and Latinos from voting. There is no major issue with voter fraud. Make automatic registration the duty of government.


    PP my point is that you criticize Wattree for doing what you do. You change the subject to the point that interests you. You are interested in Snowden, this makes it easy for you to overlook the fact that the plaintiffs in the bus boycott case were Aurelia S. Browder, Susie McDonald, Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith, and Jeanetta Reese, Reese removed herrself from the case because of pressure she faced. Lawyer Fred D. Gray presented the case at Federal District Court. Rosa Parks was not a part of the case because her lawyer Fred Gray did not want the issue of civil disobedience to cloud the issue. The District Court ruled in favor of the remains plaintiffs.BTW The case presentation on 2/1//1956 was two days after King's home had been bombed. The case was never tried in front of the Supreme Court by Thurgood Marshall, Fred Gray, or anyone else. SCOTUS upheld the decision. Rosa Parks was not a plaintiff in the case.

    Fred D Gray "Bus Ride to Justice"

    Your behavior is no different than Wattree. If Wattree is making up facts, so are you.

    The black community doesn't approve of but is not shocked by government surveillance. They are shocked by the homicides of unarmed black men and women by law enforcement and are not ashamed of making that a priority. Even with video evidence, convictions are not a certainty.



    "You change the subject to the point that interests you. You are interested in Snowden" - dude, you're too funny - Jolly Roger's diary was about Awlaki & a judge striking down the NSA's grabbing of phone records, referencing of course Snowden. Because this could be seen as negative for Obama, you then tried to change the subject to Brazil's treatment of blacks, and then slipped into Thurgood Marshall and Brown v Board of Education as distraction. I'm sure you'd love to talk about civil rights all day every day, perhaps the only thing that really interests you.

    You are correct that civil rights is a daily part of my life. I freely acknowledge that. But again the point is that you do change the subject as well. You double down on a factual error. You then criticize Wattree for doubling down. You switch to Snowden and criticize me for switching to Marshall. You often take flights into European history during discussions about events in the United States. If I distract, so do you. You criticize Wattree for not admitting error, but you can't admit your own errors. 

    I'm off to an enjoyable evening at an Italian wine dinner here in the USA where I will cast my vote for whoever becomes the Democratic candidate against the GOP clown car. Enjoy the view from wherever you are.

    Jeezus - *YOU* brought up Snowden (but the linked article referred to Snowden, so it was still on topic). *YOU* then brought up Thurgood Marshall.

    I acknowledge my trivial error of who Rosa Parks' lawyer was on the way to the more important point that clients/disruptive protesters (e.g. Parks, Snowden) can be much more important and/or known than the lawyer (Grey, whoever Snowden has), contrary to your dismissive assertion for Snowden.

    You can't  acknowledge the error of piling on Snowden with a bunch of neocons just because he somehow threatens (but doesn't) your beloved President. Including this dreamy equation: "The NSA electronic surveillance is going to hopefully be reduced under the courts."

    [I didn't look until now, but your pathetic attempt to smear Snowden and equate Brazilian spying with US ignores this: "Most of the surveillance was carried out using simple techniques such as monitoring the target on foot and by car, as well as photographing them. " Against Russia and Iran. Yeah, that's the same as tapping phone calls to Merkel.

    Enjoy the view from space or your cot in whatever ward you're medicated in. I'm finished.


    This is why I don't even respond to PP. Look at how far he's taken you off the point of the post. This guy specializes in obfuscation. We've got to learn to remain focused, because obfuscation is one of the primary tools of demagogues. The minute they try to take you off point, they should be dismissed. 

     I went to your own website which you link to here at Dag because I expected that the racial balance of people following you there would likely be differently weighted and I wondered how that might affect the nature of the comments in response to this blog. I wondered if you might get any significant and well expressed pushback from a [presumed] predominately black following.  I didn't see any. I could not one find single comment that disagreed with you in any way.



    The racial balance on my site is not predominately Black, and I don't allow comments on my site because I write to express my opinion not to have discussions. It's not that I think my opinions are above being challenged, but because it takes time away from my moving on to the next article, and I don't want people to think they're being ignored. I have a problem with that with my instant message and email accounts. There are also people who I routinely read here on Dag whose posts I don't comment on for the same reason. You can get so caught up in discussions that you won't be able to do anything else. There are so many people and so much going on online that you can get caught up in endless discussions. I'd rather write, or play my saxophone.

    In this post, RM brought up a 2-year-old post where he was the one who went off-topic/"off the post".

    Re: "demagogue", I'd suggest you look up the term, as your rhetoric is frequently exactly that. Here, I'll help you, as you seem to have trouble with teh Google:

    "[a political leader] who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason".

    Update/p.s.: whisper campaigns in public with RM about "hey, RM - see that PP's there again but I'm ignoring him real good now..."  hardly counts as "ignoring". Words in your hands don't seem to mean what you think they mean, do they?

    Wattree, most do not get your recurring mention of West and Smiley. The duo make constant appearances on college campuses attempting to influence the issues. They have a right to do that. They also can be called out on suggesting people not vote or when they give only 5-10% of there time addressing the actions of the GOP.

    West and Smiley are not the go to guys when an event occurs in the black community requiring swift action. Attorney Ben Crump has become the go to legal guy. Al Sharpton remains the go to direct action guy. Note that many, including many Progressives, simply cannot stand Sharpton. Sharpton gets included innWest's attacks on Negroes who have sold out. Many Progressives love themselves some Cornel West. I bring this up because blacks are not obligated to be in lockstep with Progressives. Sharpton gets more calls from the black community than West.

    Ed Schulz encouraged Progressives to stay home. Progressives supported Ralph Nader because Gore was not Progressive enough. When "only" 80% of black voters in Ohio voted for the Democrat, blacks were blamed for losing the election. Obama vs Clinton led to the PUMA phenomenon. At the end of the day, blacks are generally vote more Progressive than anybody. When Bill Clinton was impeached, the black community and the black caucus had his back. When we support Obama we are unthinking Obamabots.

    When a charlatan like Rand Paul comes along, black recognize his crap. He thought that  suggesting that he would change drug laws would get black votes. He was wrong. He went to Howard to educate the students and faculty about black history and embarrassed himself. Rand Paul would do nothing about voter suppression. HIs DOJ would stand mute on the issue. He would have a DOJ Civil Rights Division that would slow to a crawl. Yet, many Progressives will peel off and support Rand Paul When Progressives support the wishes of the black community, it is a good thing. Progressives and the black community are not always going to have the same methods of attaining goals. Blacks, in general, see no benefit in openly attacking Obama when he is faced with a reactionary GOP. Some Progressives, the same ones who told people to stay home or sung the praises of Rand Paul, want open and constant attacks on Obama. Not gonna happen.

    PP is entertainment for me. I find his arguments amusing. We get regaled with tales of happy smiling black clerks in department stores and blacks who spend their day calling each other niggers. We also get Tales from the South. Hilarity abounds. Wattree, please don't ask me give give up the source of humor.

    I see police attacks on the black community and express concern. Am I obsessed? Thankfully yes. Others are more concerned about NSA. Different strokes, different folks. Life goes on.


    I'm not asking you to give up your entertainment.  The PP issue is a purely personal choice for me. I gave up playing in the sandbox when I was 9 years old, and I don't believe in rewarding either silliness, or immaturity, so whenever I see his name my first thought goes to how many constructive things I could be doing instead of wasting my time.  

    I have a friend name Tom who's a staunch conservative. We never agree on anything other than the fact that we like each other.  The reason I like Tom is, even though I disagree with him on everything, he stimulates my thinking. But this PP character has never, to my knowledge, added one thing of value to any discussion that I've ever been involved in. So for me, even reading him is a waste of time. I just don't deal with contrarians, because I visualize a little curmudgeon who's life is dedicated to proving that you should have placed a period instead of a simi colon in one sentence of a 10,000 word essay. I knew a kid like that when I was in the 3rd grade and he drove me up the wall, so I have no intention of going back there.

    Image result for Wattree
    With regard Rand Paul, I see "libertarian" as a code word for "We should have the right to discriminate and pollute the environment with impunity - but if my business catches on fire, I want to use everybody's tax money to put it out."  You can't have your cake and eat it too. Rules are a part of being able to enjoy the advantages of a society. If he wants the "liberty" to do whatever he likes, that's easy to obtain - he should move into the wilderness where the only one he has to answer to is himself. But if a snake latches on to his pecker, I don't want him using my tax money to disconnect it.     

    "But this PP character has never, to my knowledge, added one thing of value to any discussion that I've ever been involved in." - Pearls before Swine, it's called. Not a new phenomenon.

    And for those who don't know the quite delectable band... or the use of ashes...

    I may steal your description of Libertarians, it's classic.

    The issue of criticizing Presidents and other politicians comes down to trust. If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, it comes down to if you trust her more than you trust any of the Republican clown car. The answer is Hilary is the winner. Hillary would get less criticism on many issues than a Republican President.

    The position noted above is nothing outrageous. Folks who support Cornel West do not say that Michelle Obama is as "bad" as West, not that West is without fault. They are willing to give West the "benefit of the doubt" because they view West as someone who speaks truth to power. In essence they trust West more than they trust Michelle Obama's motives when it comes to dealing with corporations. 

    When it comes to party platforms, you glance at what they suggest and expect maybe 50% to even be attempted. Once the candidate actually gets a real look at the U.S. financial books and intelligence data, things change. It boils down to who do you trust the most to do the right thing most of the time. You also factor in the opposition. The crazier the GOP opposition, the more likely you are to support the Democrat.

    I think we will look back at the crap that Obama had to go through and be amazed at what he got done. Take the actions of Congress on the Iran deal, Congress essentially got a bill that says it has the power to do what it already had the power to do. Obama played them again



    Wattree and rmrd, I asked Oceankat to refrain from character attacks upthread. I make the same request to you. Thanks.


    I caught this earlier and I really did not know how to react.

    These are all my friends. No kidding.

    Ocean and Rmrd are important writers to me.

    every damn day.

    Mr. Wattree is one of the most important writers who show up on this blog.

    Peracles just came back.

    And every one of these peeps are mad.


    I have sinned.

    I know this for a fact.

    Recently I lost Cville and AA and over time I have lost Trope and Carol and a host of others.

    I most probably misspoke or something.

    But this week or today, I just wonder where this venom is coming from.

    This intentional type of attack just causes me panic. Really. Panic.

    Mr. Wattree is not rush limbaugh for chrissakes.

    Eric gives me a different perspective.

    We lose if we lose Eric.

    His numbers are up for sure.

    And like you and Mike M., there are other blogs to be heard.

    Thank you Mike for this.

    I do not know if 'they' will listen.


    There are so many bad bad peeps out there.

    Oceankat is not one of them

    Eric is not attempting to over throw the government by violent means.

    I am six days late on this I guess.

    We have a nice site here.

    Years ago, Q asked why we cannot give five minutes to think about what we say to one another.

    And, unless I missed something Q aint even here at this blog.

    I am late.

    But thank you Mike W for showing up and attempting to quell the thunderstorm?

    I think Peracles over reacted as did a number of commenters.I still cannot figure out why people are so goddamn mad.

    Again, this is a good site.

    I live here.

    I do not wish to point my finger at anyone.

    Just thank you, Mike w for showing up.

    the end


    I'm not mad Richard. I just have a different view than you. I think that if someone is going to talk smack about someone they shouldn't get away with it. They should be smacked back. And if someone makes a cut that draws blood they shouldn't get a pass. They should expect to be cut back.

    Maybe everyone here disagrees with that.

    I think that 95% of the time I don't start anything. I'm just willing to respond blow for blow.

    Maybe everyone here disagrees with that too.

    You're a nice person and I can respect that. I like your posts, read them, listen to most of the music. But we're different.  I can be kind and generous but I'm not nice. I'm hard and not just on the internet.

    I think that 95% of the time I don't start anything. I'm just willing to respond blow for blow.

    Kat, I've been moderating this blog for more than six years, and virtually everyone I've moderated in a dispute like this has claimed this exact justification. "Started" is a matter of perception. Usually, the fight begins with an indirect offense that draws a "blow," which provokes a retaliatory "blow," and so on tit-for-tat until the insults scrunch themselves against the right sidebar. Usually, there's a history of mutual dislike that lowers people's threshold for offense. Sometimes, friends of the aggrieved join in on the smackfest, and a brawl ensues.

    I'm not here to issue ethical judgments or wax philosophical about eye-for-an-eye justice. I just know that the "smack back" impulse is toxic to blog communities. It can be toxic to any community really, but it's a common problem online because people are less inhibited in their verbal smacks.

    So for the blog to work, people have to suppress the urge to smack back, no matter how deserved it may be. Dag has a no-ad-hominem policy, not because we're pacifists who just want everyone to get along, but because flame wars spiral into factional bloodfeuds that ruin the forum (ahem, TPM Cafe).

    I think most people where get this. I haven't had to ban anyone in a long time, and I don't remember ever having to moderate you before. But there are occasional flare ups, and I think it's helpful to remember why we have the policy.


    You have the unenviable job of moderating the cage-fights that are inevitable where large egos ar confined to small spaces. We have learned something from these conflicts, the old Army/Marine  competition is still with us and  i was amazed to learn that there was at least one smart Marine out there.

    It's a shame there aren't moderators at the grander levels of discourse in our society to chastise bloviators  such as Dyson and Cohen before they loose their ad-hominems. Their behavior does us no more good than the distractions of personal conflicts here. Challenging someone's words and actions and debating their responses should be enough to make a point.

    We do have such moderators, actually. Dyson's piece was approved by the editors of the New Republic. You can argue with their editorial decision of course, but in the publishing world, people take it for granted that their self-expression is moderated. And frankly, dagblog employs far less editorial discretion than the NR. Other than overt bigotry and spam, you can pretty much write what you want here as long as you don't get personal with other dagbloggers.

    So no tongue?

    It depends what you do with it

    virtually everyone I've moderated in a dispute like this has claimed this exact justification.

    That sounds likely but that doesn't mean it's never true nor always true.

    "Started" is a matter of perception.

    No, I don't think it is. Sometimes it's a matter of perception and other times it's overwhelmingly obvious.

    Usually, the fight begins with an indirect offense that draws a "blow,"

    It's possible that's the usual pattern. Other times there's a clear direct offense.

    I think your analysis is flawed and that it affects your moderating style. But you don't want to get into it and I don't need to so I'll leave it at that.



    No, not never and not always. We have made many judgment calls that you're probably not aware of because we tend to handle them privately, particularly if they involve suspension.

    On the other hand, we're not school principles who collect evidence to determine who really started it. Dag moderation isn't about rapping knuckles for bad behavior; it's about maintaining an environment that fosters free-wheeling but respectful discussion. For that to be possible, people have to exercise restraint and resist the urge to smack back.

    In an ordinary community, such restraint is commonplace. When someone says something ignorant or obnoxious at a dinner party, you might correct them, but you wouldn't likely call them an idiot. In an anonymous online community, we have to work a bit harder to maintain the kind of decorum that folks take for granted in person.

    Ok, I think we still disagree and I still think there're flaws in your analysis. There's much I could say and even want to say but from previous discussions I've read here on this topic I believe you really don't want to discuss it even though you haven't said that in these two posts and even though you are responding to me. I was surprised you decided to respond to my post to Richard given my belief that you don't want to discuss it. Perhaps I'm wrong and you actually do want to discuss it, but I doubt it. While I'm certainly willing I have no need to discuss your warning to me. So I'm just going to leave it at that.

    I only have a problem when the discussion gets into accusations about who said what when because the finger-pointing provokes the type of personal discord that we're trying to avoid. But I'm happy to discuss at a general policy level. I also respond to email if you want to raise more specific concerns, [my last name] at yahoo.com.

    I appreciate your position. I tend to state my position strongly and repeatedly. I did break off a recent thread because my response to " Some of my best friends are black" was not going to be very pleasant.i think I see meanings n the responses from some bloggers that you may not see. I will try to limit the number of responses I give to a post that I consider to be over the top. I cannot promise that it will happen every time. I appreciate this post and your position.

    Thanks, rmrd. I have often seen you hold your tongue, and I appreciate that.

    PS For the record, I have often seen your favorite interlocutor hold his tongue as well.

    It's a shame that this post and its important topic was so easily dragged into a personal grudge-match or is this a conditioned response to the frightening reality of our present powerless condition.

    The view of reality i bring to this blog, one based on observed and documented facts not wishful thinking, frightens many people.  I try to obey the rules of this site but my comments are subjected to special screening and delay, i wonder if others here are also treated this way? I attempt to encourage people to think not just react and i welcome fact based debate but not belief based rhetoric.

    If the PTB at dagblog want to ban me instead of confronting me in print I'll understand but otherwise stop this petty, passive-aggressive behavior.

    I thought that your nonsense about not voting was addressed and dismissed. Voting has consequences, otherwise the GOP would not be focused on stopping the vote of blacks and Latinos. Elections determine things like who gets appointed to SCOTUS. 5-4 decisions on SCOTUS creates religious rights for corporations and changes how money influences campaign contributions. Elections do matter.

    I pointed out that you have the right to say that we are powerless. I agree that you are because you don't vote. Since you believe you have special insight into the powerlessness of voters, could we hear your solution?

    BTW for Presidential elections the worse turnouts were in the 1920s and 1930s. Current turnouts are higher than in the 1990s. Turnouts do fall dramatically in the midterms, but your hypothesized vision of voters staying home in higher numbers than in the past does not hold up during Presidential years.


    The automated spam filter checks all comments from unregistered or signed-out users. Sometimes legitimate comments get quarantined, and we have to manually approve them, hence the delays. If you register and login using the links in the black menu bar at the top, you will be able to bypass the spam filter.

    I'm sorry about that, and thank you for monitoring these discussions. You've reminded me of something that I should do routinely anyway - stay on point.  It's immature and counterproductive not to, but I guess I can be just as immature as the next person.

    Eric, I thought about making a separate post about  Michael Eric Dyson's analysis of the intellectual demise of Cornel West and West's total lack of respect for President Obama. I decided just to make this an added reply to your post, since you have been out front in noting the unraveling of Cornel West. Dyson's notes that he has been critical of Obama, but realizes the constraints the President faces.

    West openly admits that he does not respect President Obama. Cornel labels Dyson and Melissa Harris-Perry bootlickers. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are criticized for being too close to the President. Dyson reminds us of where the animosity against the President began, meaning the Inauguration ticket . We are reminded that while other blacks invited to the White House are scum, West could not contain himself when he was invited to the White House by Bill Clinton. The same Bill Clinton who gave us NAFTA and began restrictive welfare reform was "brilliant" according to Cornel West.

    Dyson does an excellent job deconstructing Cornel West. I think that you will enjoy the read.

    The article appears in the "New Republic"



    Ben Cohen of the Daily Banter agrees with Dyson's analysis of Cornel West's ugly turn


    (This is behind a paywall)

    For someone who is a 'Ghost' and suffering a 'Sad Demise'  Cornel is sure generating a lot of renewed passive-aggressive attacks and obsessive-compulsive attention. I especially enjoyed Dyson's obituary where he was even required to apologize for Obama's early expediency of throwing anyone who might interfere with his agenda under the bus. I'm sure Cornel was as mad at himself for trusting this opportunist as he was at Obama for embarrassing him and his family. Dyson's complaint about West not churning out  new reams of scholarly texts for Dyson and other members of the Ineffectual Class to judge is hilarious especially after seeing what his latest offering is, a hagiography of Obama. I understand Dyson's dismay at West abandoning his class, addressing the Little People and attacking the bootlicks and opportunists in the Black Misleadership Class, he worked very hard to rise above his people.

    The Clinton camp must be worried, they are already back to their old book-burning fetish and  have cleaned up her history at State, just one pesky radical to discredit and she can look forward to making new snuff films in the White House.

    West attacks because he is jealous of Obama. By your definition, West was a bootlicker for praising Bill Clinton after a White House visit. If West received a ticket to the Obama White House, this would not be a topic for discussion.

    Dyson appears on "HuffPost Live" to explain why he took the disagreement public. He felt that since West was doing his critiques in public, a public response was justified.

    Dyson is responding to the excellent takedown of his rambling attack on West and Liberals in general at Counterpunch. All Dyson is doing now is showing what a complete tool and fool he has chosen to be.

    The Counterpunch "takedown" is a figment of your imagination.

    The article says that young people are rejecting Sharpton for West.

    Sharpton was a leading force in ending Stop and Frisk. Sharpton is the one who gets called to bring national attention to a host of situations.

    West came to Ferguson to "get arrested". He did nothing else.

    Can you point to something concrete that West has done?

    Dyson - 'What distinguishes West is that he assailed Obama’s insufficient leftism and proclaimed it a racial betrayal. “I would rather have a white president fundamentally dedicated to eradicating poverty and enhancing the plight of working people than a black president tied to Wall Street and drones,” he told The Guardian.' Methinks Tyson is over his head. West is saying he doesn't care about race, only results. How or why did Tyson flip this on its head? West is talking about compassion betrayal. All Dyson can do is mutter, "all politicians back out of their campaign promises" - so much for hope and change - Obama hit his own Trifecta? How inconvenient. Of course West has simply been campaigning and advocating for the impoverished and the drone-stricken. Guess he'd have been better off mixing it up with Jay-Z and the fashionably rich - West just doesn't get the zeitgeist that says poverty and war concerns are so passe.

    West was happy to praise Bill Clinton when Clinton invited West to the White House. West is still full of rage that Obama did not invite him to the White House. Blacks who were invited to the West House are by default House Negroes or worse.West is an angry hypocrite.

    As 2016 comes into view West will be asking Hillary Clinton to bow before him. We shall see how she does. The fact of the matter is that Hillary will get the majority of the black vote if she is the nominee. There will be a big push in the black community to oust every possible Republican in sight. Political leaders and activists will be aiming for the biggest GOTV possible. Sharpton can aid in getting votes.

    In general black voters have a visceral hatred for Republicans. It is their overt racism manifested by voter suppression down to holding up a vote on Loretta Lynch. In a Presidential year, blacks will come out. 12% of black identify as Republican. Obama got 95% and 93% of the black vote. This suggests half of black Republicans either stayed home in disgust from what the GOP was doing, or they voted for Obama. West will have little influence on voting outcome. If Hillary is the nominee, and West feels the need to continue his venomous style, it will be very interesting to see how her female supporters react to West. I'm getting my popcorn ready.

    Regarding war, Obama was working hard keeping us from one in Iran. He had to contend with the GOP, Netanyahu, and Democrats like the recently indicted Menendez.West seems to have missed that.

    By the way, the gentleman's name is Dyson, not Tyson.

    Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford accuses Dyson of attacking West in an effort to curry favor with Hillary Clinton. Dyson argues that west is conducting a personal vendetta. Point-counterpoint will follow. In the overall scope of things, the Dyson-West discussions will be a sideshow.

    As the 2016 draws closer, the less important the West--Dyson argument becomes. neither West or Black Agenda Report have a viable solution. Can either West or BAR truthfully argue that things would have been better under a President McCain and Vice President Palin or a President Romney and a Vice President Ryan? Crickets.

    The upcoming elections will leave us with the choice of Republicans or Democrats. there is no reason to trust any Republican. While many tire of hearing about  voter suppression, that is a clear an present danger posed by Republicans. Is there anyone willing to suggest that Blacks stay home because Democrats are nothing doing everything they want? The charge that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats fails when it comes to the basic right to vote. If that cannot be understood, then there cannot further discussion.

    When Obama made Supreme Court appointments, some Progressives told us that his choices were not "Progressive" enough. these justices turn out to be among those trying to keep corporations from being granted religious rights or Dark money from politics. You are not going to get wholesale attacks on President Obama from the black community because "Progressives" have no alternatives.

    West is going to have to place his focus on the Democratic Presidential candidate next year. He has no choice but to continue his rhetoric against the candidate. if he mellows his tone after having a sit down with the candidate, he can be viewed as an egomaniac only wanting to be considered important.

    Thanks, rmrd - that's a great column by Glen Ford - if only I could express myself like that. Yes, it's Dyson, not Tyson - my Android likes to autocorrect me, and Dyson finds himself laid up on the turnbuckle a pulpy mess. KO Ford.

    We had debates between DuBois and Washington

    W.E.B. DuBois had the NAACP 

    Booker T. Washington had Tuskeegee Institute 

    We had debates between Martin and Malcolm

    Martin Luther King Jr had SCLC

    Malcolm X had select Black Muslims

    Now we have President Obama and West

    President Obama has the Senate seat and the Presidency

    Cornel  West has ......................



    West's supporters defend a tone used against Obama that we totally reject when it comes out of the mouth of Dinesh D'Souza


    I sometimes wonder whether you've ever hung around black people at all. You call what West uses a "tone"? He's just trying to make a fucking point. Grow a goddamn spine. Your best bud Wattree likes putting up pictures of lynchings and West with a bone in his mouth but "Rockefeller Republican in blackface" keeps you in spasms for years. You can't even appreciate a clever analogy, or maybe you do so you call the refs in to save you. "Racist! Unfair! Over the line!". Pathetic.

    The small number of black people you know must have warped you because that result created a stereotype of black people. West's verbal nonsense plays into your stereotype. Black people make points by addressing the policy. That is what John Lewis does. That is what Barbara Lee does. That is what Donna Edwards does. The same goes for Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. West name-calls and has nothing to show for it. He is stuck in the 1960s. But he fits your stereotype. Enjoy.

    West and his supporters truly believe they are the only ones who care about poverty. They do this as they get the health care under the ACA. West labels Sharpton a sellout. Sharpton is on the front lines in the stand against police abuse. West came to Ferguson to get a photo- op as he accomplished his goal of getting arrested. That photo-op is West's legacy on police abuse.

    I have been around more black people than you can ever imagine. Your narrow view makes you think that West has done something of importance. We shall see how West deals with the next Democratic Presidential candidate if they are successful and West gets a White House invitation, Will dear brother West become a House Negro if he gets tickets to the Inauguration and a seat at the consultant's table?

    it is time to break this off. I never really care what you think, but I do find your comments and thought process amusing. You are instructing me on black people. Delusional and hilarious.

    I have better things to do.

    I'm sorry that my small stereotype of blacks I lived and worked with gave me the idea many were clever, profane, irreverent, humorous and rather resilient. Thank you for cluing me in that in your real world blacks must be oversensitive, obsessive, narrow-minded and not much fun. Would be a shame to go to my grave not being enlightened by you. Anyway, you and Wattree have a witchhunt/Westhunt to carry out and i'm sure you'll be back in a few days with another blast at character assassination.

    Cornel has Black Agenda Report and people concerned about poverty, drones, Wall Street/oligarchy and the encroaching security state. West is in good company, and since he's not running for office or trying to suck off a contract, he doesn't have to stick his nose up anyone's butt. He'll be okay, don't you fret - history will treat him much kinder than Dyson (interpret that both ways)

    Cornel doesn't need to be defended from these low intellectual weakling's attacks and i hope he doesn't lower himself by even responding to them. What is really important is this early display of groveling to power by the minions of the Democrat hierarchy and the clear display of the fact they have nothing positive to offer even positive criticism, they are truly bankrupt. They need to be confronted not for Cornel's sake but the sake of anyone with an ethical or moral compass that still functions.

    The next 18 months will be very depressing as we are forced to watch this campaign degenerate into petty attack politics that attempts to absolve those who thrive on boot licking and those who they worship while ignoring anything that matters to people here or abroad.

    Obama is probably the last inspirational liar and effective political snake-oil salesman we will see leading the rubes to our New World Order. All we will see now is the spittle-flecked scoundrels haranguing the disillusioned masses with  fear and malice.

    Enjoy the election from your seat at home, thinking about how to think about getting involved in the struggle.

    Here is our dear brother Cornel West talking about Bill Clinton. West was invited to the White House after publishing Race Matters

    The brother was absolutely brilliant and I was having a ball. When I looked at my watch, though, I saw it was far into the middle of the night. We had been at it for hours. I realized I had an early morning flight back to New Jersey to teach at Princeton and needed just a little nod of sleep. But he was as fresh as ever. I remember thinking to myself—Does this brother have a job?—when I realized—He’s the president of the United States! I did leave, but only after another hour of conversation.

    Doesn't sound like someone West would call a sellout? West sitting there enjoying being near the President

    Did West drop trou or change his stance on poverty? I don't think you understand what "sellout" means.

    I have not paid enough attention to either West or Dyson or Dyson’s article to have an opinion.

    A ‘public intellectual’ that I have paid attention to Is Corey Robin. So, I offer some more fodder. Robin writes

    Cornel West in The New Republic, which has attracted a lot of attention on social media. I was brought onto the show in the third segment to talk more generally about public intellectuals, whether they were a thing of the past or not, but I did briefly share my own thoughts about Cornel West and his contributions to the culture.

    Here is the entire show, in three segments; as I said, I appear in the third.




    I have only watched the first segment but so far I like the guy who reminds me of Little Richard.




    One thing going on here is a debate about different approaches to problems. Similar to DuBois v  Washington or King v Malcolm. The other thing going on is the method West uses to attack Obama. The method varies little from the attacks used by Dinesh D'Souza.

    West has decided that those who do not agree with his position are House Negroes, so he attacks Dyson, Harris-Perry, Sharpton, and others. West says that Obama did nothing for the poor and does not care about the poor. Anyone who takes the opposite position is a sellout. Thus you will see supporters of West openly stating that West's opponents do not care for the poor. We an all agree that Obama did not eradicate poverty. He did widen the safety net despite opposition from the GOP. Obama made health care rather than a second stimulus the priority. That is a criticism. One the other hand people who did not have health care before now have health care. In my eyes, the health care changes were helping a group who needed help. Does going for health care mean that Obama did not care about the poor. It doesn't in my eyes, but it does in the eyes of Cornel West.

    There are arguments about the NSA and drones. 

    Plus West did not get tickets to the Inauguration.


    Only had time to look at the third segment

    Thanks for the links

    Will them in entirety later

    I have now watched all three segments. Robin's statement regarding West and his role as an important black intellectual which begins at 11:35 of the third part is, assuming accuracy, pretty damned germane to this entire discussion. Do you have any reaction to it?

    I attended an event last night. I will watch the segments in sequence later today.

    Cornel West deserves respect for the influence he had on bringing DuBois and others to the education of political scientists. He should be honored for that. If you are asking who is doing excellent job of educating Henry Louis Gates. Gates output of scholarly works is simply amazing. As noted in the links, Ta-Nehisi Coates does a tremendous job of analyzing current events.

    There has been an issue raised about an anti-Semetic tone in Wattrree's post. I don't view Wattree as an anti-Semite. I do think that it is very easy to offend when issues of race, ethnicity, and religion are involved.

    I do remember dear brother west noting the following in his critique of Obama as noted by Joan Walsh

    The most tragic thing, to me, about West’s meltdown was the way he tried to frame it as a universalist defense of poor and working-class people — who in fact haven’t gotten enough help or attention from this too-close-to-Wall Street administration — but then somehow descends into personal attacks on the president as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.” If that wasn’t bad enough, West claims Obama’s problem is that he is afraid of “free black men” due to his white ancestry and years in the Ivy League. “He feels most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want,” West claimed.



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