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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 06:40 AM
Original message
Does what we do at DU matter?
I wrote a similar headline a few weeks ago, only it bridged toward the negative, saying it didn't seem to matter. Not long after posting the OP I got my very first email from our commonwealths' senator, John Kerry. It might have been a coincidence; but I doubt it.

If we comment on an OP, especially if we disagree, we should recommend the OP to make our views public. Someone's aid for your senator or representative is likely watching and documenting your responses, so make it clear where you vote when feasible.

Along the same vein, signing petitions matters, so keep it up. There's a lot wrong with America; and the people in DC are nervous. Now is the time to become more visible, instead of giving up in despair.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. I sometimes feel like we are just venting or talking to each other, but
every so often it seems that someone "out there" actually reads this stuff.
I can only hope that some of it is taken seriously by the power structure-there is a lot of deapair on the left, and a lot of frustration and anger and someone in the Democratic party might want to addrress that before the elections and try to make things a little better.

We love our country and we want better for it than we have...I don't see where this is so terrible or infantile, White House...


mark

rec.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. Some are paid to do so and to try to insert RW talking points in
threads with progressive ideas. Thom Hartmann caught one on his message board who admitted he worked for a RW think tank and was paid for it. I'm sure they are here too. Remember Elizabeth Edwards once posted here, so if she and John (in better days) were reading what we say, you can be sure many others are too.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Good. Not that I mind talking to you guys, but the DC crowd needs to get out a little....
they tend to believe their own publicity and I think an occasional look at opinions of real leftists would be of interest for some of them.
I hope it is relly happening..


mark
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. I suspect this is a training ground for Heritage Foundation (and the like) interns.
Our current crop of "visitors" are fairly obvious, IMHO, but some are damn skillful.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
36. Thom Hartmann picked up one of my OP's once, so i guess somebody reads it.
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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-16-10 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
39. that's what i thought before the Kerry email
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 06:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. thanks for the encouragement
sometimes I get so filled with despair I want to climb under my bed and play with the dust bunnies.
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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Let me reiterate: PEOPLE IN DC ARE NERVOUS
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zazen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
4. yes: the highly recommended threads _plus_ the galvanized actions of members
When a sizeable number of members call Congress on a specific piece of legislation that's being discussed in committee or on the floor, they know we're watching and it _does_ have influence. But it's got to be in the day and very, very specific.
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
5. Oftentimes it is important to know someone is listening
Even if it just here it is important for people to feel they have a voice and are not alone.
It is when people feel no one is listening is when they feel despair.
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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
28. In the wake of the spill, speak now or forever hold your peace
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
6. I've noticed what some people say here ends up in the press
or coincidence?
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Not exactly
However, there isn't a direct correlation. It's a secondary relationship. For all we'd like to believe, we aren't really that unique. What we are thinking and saying here, is also being said and thought in other forums (including in lobbying firms and congressional staff offices). So you will see similarities basically because "great minds think alike". It is inevitable though that there are lurkers and participants that "carry" specific thoughts and expressions out of here to other forums.

Think "6 degrees of separation". We're maybe a "degree" or two away from journalists, staffers, and lobbyists. While no single post probably makes a particular difference, the overall themes can have effects.

And it affects, which means that our conversations and exchanges with others carry some of what we read here outside into the larger body politic.
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. this is a new era in journalism
the pressure often comes from the internet before it hits the newspapers. When there is a buzz.
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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. plenty of responses over the years indicated the poster was active in media...
Before becoming disabled, I worked at 4 radio stations, a TV station and a newspaper.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
7. It matters to posters. It matters to those who have lost someone and need support
Those angry with politics needing to feel thy are not alone in such feelings.

It helps the lonely, the sad, it helps those wishing to celebrate a victory or a child's first steps.

It matters to those who let it matter.
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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Like all your work, that is poignant and well-put...
How have you been doing?
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. Most of those things aren't political
I've often thought you should find a non-political board to post most of your op's. I saw a post of yours in a thread in the lounge recently. I was shocked. I didn't realize you knew there was a lounge here.

Julie
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AnArmyVeteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
8. YES, please read this! You never know what effect you have on others and the world...
Whenever I get discouraged I read Robert F Kennedy's 'Day of Affirmation' speech given in South Africa in 1966. This is just part of the speech but Kennedy's words live on today inspiring others into action.

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Please search for this speech and read all of it. It's one of the best speeches ever.

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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
11. lol
Yes, I am sure the big shots from the hill are all watching DU. Gosh they are dying to know the weather reports in various neighborhoods around the country, they need to read the 10,000 versions of the same thing (the oil leak is making me sad), they can't go on without reading how so and so's surgery turned out, hope to catch pics of cute animals "to break the tension" and all sorts of bullshit that gets posted here at the "political discussion" boards.

Lord knows there probably are no drama queens on the hill so if one really needs serious drama, you just can't beat DU.

Sorry but one can witness self absorbed attention whores anywhere and as far as political discussion, unless they are looking for barbiturate left ad nauseum, hardly seems worth it for really busy people to get political feedback here. The good discussions seem to get further and farther between.

Julie--who never ceases to marvel at peoples' self-important notion of DU
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
14. One of the reasons I participate on DU and like boards is
because our elected representatives are reading what we are thinking. It's the only way we have a voice anymore. With the co-opting of the media and our government by big business and religion, we no longer have any influence on policy or real democracy. Our protests are mostly ignored. Look what happened to health care reform. With 70% of the population wanting an improved Medicare public option, we didn't get one. The minority 30% prevailed because we can't put big insurance and big PhRMA in their place, can we? We aren't sure our votes are being even being counted. However, they still fear our numbers so in a sense they take our temperature by reading the boards. It's our last bastion of free speech and being able to vent our opinions and exert at least some influence.

It's too bad that there are trolls on the message boards either by nature or paid by right wing operations who dilute our efforts to maintain a strong presence and who too often succeed in getting some of DUs more talented members tomb stoned over the years.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
17. I hope this is read, because I think this is at the heart of a lot of dissonance
in this country.

"Hate groups operating in the United States"

(We tolerate so much hatred in the country, and while I certainly appreciate free speech, hatred could become the norm...)

"Many individuals, groups, organizations, institutes, and foundations are currently active in the United States which exist for the sole purpose of destroying the Constitutional laws and rights upon which honest Americans abide. Their motivations are many, consisting of a broad spectrum of destructive and tyrannical religious ideologies. There are no known secular hate groups in operation in the United States."

<snip>

"We continue to observe hatred and bigotry spouted from every fundamentalist Christian pulpit across the country. Bigotry against blacks, women, homosexuals, Mexicans, atheists, and even other brand names of Christianity are all favorite targets for these purveyors of hatred. Using the rhetoric of "Hate the sin, not the sinner," these people manage to convince themselves they can hate with justification. Using the rhetoric of," Jews were created out of mud" and "blacks are the result of Eve copulating with animals," these purveyors of hatred manage to convince themselves they can hate with justification -- all of it fully sanctioned by gods and the Christian mythologies, of course."

Please see for more: http://www.skeptictank.org/hs/hate.htm

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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
18. I had never known how wide a reach we have on DU until you google something & it comes up!
DU is referenced, I am sure, many times and google searches are full of them as I know you are aware but I wanted to let more people understand that DU DOES make a difference! I totally agree with your post! Make it matter!

:hi:
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
20. The day Rush Limbaugh first attacked DU on his radio program...
..I realized that what we write here makes a difference.
That was in 2002 or 2003 if I remember correctly.

With that acknowledgment, I would like to post the following:
"In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for allregardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

*The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

*The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

*The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

*The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

*The right of every family to a decent home;

*The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

*The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

*The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world."---FDR


That is the Democratic Party I joined 42 years ago.
We have drifted a long way from home.


"If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for,
at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them."

--- Paul Wellstone


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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
21. That is why IMO it is important that we are not just a cheering section
That we actually use critical thought process and ask uncomfortable questions. Just because we may be Liberals doesn't mean we walk in lock step..If a politician is doing or saying something we disagree with we need to speak up whether that politician is a Democrat or Republican.
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Beam Me Up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
23. Yes, it does matter on a lot of levels.
For me, DU is an "information watering hole." I come here daily and peruse the Greatest threads, LBN and a few other forums. Like you, I'm also certain that others come here to monitor the 'pulse' of what we are thinking and feeling about the grave issues unfolding around us.

It is important for us to read and learn from one another and to speak our hearts and minds. To an extent it can become an 'echo chamber' at times, speaking to the choir, but it is much more than that. Through my years of (mostly) reading and occasionally posting my 2 I've come to see the political landscape around me much more clearly and very differently than I once did. I now see it as stratified, basically divided into two realms: That of 'shallow' politics operating in the media driven main stream and that of the darker, 'deep' politics that underlies it. This is a paradigm shift and explains why, for example, I've not been surprised that corporate owned media sources do not report the real news fairly and objectively -- often leaving the most important stories completely unreported. It also explains why I'm not "disappointed" in Obama's presidency, he is doing pretty much precisely what I expected him to do -- which is not challenge the structures of power that actually shape domestic and international policy of the Imperil behemoth.

Everything looks much differently once one begins to understand that being lied to is not the exception to the rule but is how we are ruled on a daily basis by corporate media and the vast majority of people in positions of power. We do NOT live in a particularly democratic society and this is becoming increasingly evident to more and more people everyday.

The consequence of this burgeoning awareness shifts our sense of responsibility beyond simply fulfilling the common duties of a 'good citizen,' such as keeping ourselves informed through corporate media sources, supporting and voting for candidates that represent at least some of our interests. Now our responsibility is to inform ourselves through a variety of sources, to investigate for ourselves contradictory claims, to share information with others around us, to build bridges between otherwise desperate groups, to find common aims and strategies to not only inform ourselves and one another but to begin to build a new paradigm of political consciousness that can become a force. What we need is a critical mass of awareness that can begin to challenge the under belly of 'deep' politics, first by exposing it for what it is, how it operates, what its agendas and strategies are and, second, by finding alternatives to them. As one author put it, this means 'becoming as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.'

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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
24. Does it matter to YOU? It feels good to know others are also thinking
the same as you are. I so often feel like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, and never taken seriously. It helps to keep my spirits up to know that I am not alone in the wilderness.
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mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
25. Yes.
Ideally, DU helps us become better thinkers and citizens though dialogue and debate. It is also a great resource for current events and other types of knowledge. I could care less whether or not our threads and thoughts have a political impact...in themselves, their influence is probably minimal.

DU gets my stamp of approval!
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
26. meh.
:kick:
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pecwae Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
27. Perhaps to the members posting.
Anything larger than an individual scale, no, it doesn't. I wonder what could actually be accomplished with the energy that's wasted in all the furious posting?
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
29. It matters as much as a fart in a windstorm.
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newtothegame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
30. I'm not so sure anybody's watchin...this is democraticUNDERGROUND for a reason...
we ain't exactly in the mainstream here.
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
31. I'm having an experience similar to yours ...
only mine isn't limited to a sitting Senator. It's slowly but surely sweeping the nation.
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 08:17 PM
Original message
I'm having an experience similar to yours ...
only mine isn't limited to a sitting Senator. It's slowly but surely sweeping the nation.
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
32. I'm having an experience similar to yours ...
only mine isn't limited to a sitting Senator. It's slowly but surely sweeping the nation.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
33. If it did they would have shut us down by now.
But they don't need to, that's the "beauty" the the New and Improved Totalitarianism, you stupidify the masses with propaganda, shiny gadgets, and American Idol, that makes overt repression unnecessary.
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live love laugh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
34. Y.E.S. Some of the brightest minds dwell here. Many ideas are cherry picked from here
and though DU never receives credit (except from your Thom Hartmans or your Stephanie Millers) I know for sure that we are a force.

You know, there are MANY websites that monitor the posts here. Just Google a few screen names.

The trolls here in full force and the netvocates who try dilute the discourse are also a clue that we matter.

We might not get credit or recognition but I believe that DU is one of the richest communities on the Web.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
35. Of course the powers that be are reading DU. Look how many dinos there are here
who try to control the message while they also attempt to pull this forum to the right.

But the truth is-the powers that be don't care what we have to say...they only care about shutting us up. :grr:
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
37. I'll chime in............
ANY time you make a leftist political statement today, EVEN IF IT'S ON A LEFTIST BOARD, it makes a difference. You give the squishy middle an alternative to the right wing bullshit that they hear everyday from MOST of the media. They might or might not hear the alternative directly, but they will eventually hear about it even if it's second, third, fourth hand. As long as we all speak out whenever and wherever it's needed.

Do you ever notice how your RW friends and co workers make outrageous statements like they're established fact? If you don't challenge them, IT MIGHT AS WELL BE.
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Mojeoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-16-10 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
38. DU just made me cry again, thanks
The OP from the man who just wanted to vent about his little girl in the hospital caught my heart.
He gave an update and said she was home and thanked everyone for their support.

The kind messages from all over in response to him were supportive and when I read the outcome, I just teared up.

Moments like that make me very glad I'm a member of DU.
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