Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Daily Kos gets worse and worse

Posted by Charles II on October 21, 2014

So, Der Spiegel reports that the Russians definitely did not shoot down the Malaysian airliner MH-17. In the meantime, Kiev’s army has been defeated in battle, the Russians are dictating how Ukraine is going to pay to heat their homes, and there’s a danger of the Poroshenko government getting overthrown.

None of this can be mentioned on the Daily Kos without getting called a “Kremlin troll.” By a guy who has joined Daily Kos today, and has four comments of five total on my thread.

Usually a third of the comments are excellent, or at least sincere. But in this thread, there were three comments I was glad to receive–not because they were supportive, but because they brought me new information. That’s approximately 5% of the comments that were not outright manure.


8 Responses to “Daily Kos gets worse and worse”

  1. jo6pac said

    I went through the comments and it seems to me there are an awful lot faux news watchers there at the orange menace.

    • Charles II said

      My guess is that there are some retired Department of State people with too much time on their hands. They are extremely sensitive to criticism of US policy.

      As you know, I am also critical of Russian actions in the Ukraine. I equate their action in annexing Crimea with the US annexation of Guantanamo from Cuba. I don’t think it’s plausible to believe that the eastern rebels defeated Kiev’s army without material assistance from Russia, and would equate supplying the rebels with our arming of the “moderate rebels” in Syria. Either all sides respect international law, or no one will. I deeply believe in the importance of law–the idea that no nation can be trampled by superior force or by intrigue, but that all should be respected equals.

      This is a big idea, one that Americans need to hear. What I hear in these hateful comments I receive is a deep fear that the empire is failing. As, of course, it is… because it refuses to accept any criticism at all.

      By the way, the State Department itself doesn’t quite know what to do about the report in Der Spiegel:

      QUESTION: Can I ask just on that as well? There was a report in Der Spiegel over the weekend that German intelligence believes that the passenger jet, the Malaysian Air jet that was downed, was shot down by weapons or a missile that had been captured by the pro-Russian rebels from the Ukrainian army. Do you have any – not from the Russian – it wasn’t supplied by the Russians. It was captured from the Ukrainian army.

      MS. HARF: Okay. I can look into that. We made clear at the time where we believed it came from, how we believe it got there, and where we believe it was fired from. But I can check.

      QUESTION: This is a German intelligence apparently to Der Spiegel, and I just wondered if you had any kind of —

      MS. HARF: Okay. I can check. We believe we know what happened, though.

      Now maybe John Kerry can figure out what he believes.

      • This was all about using the airliner as a club with which to beat up Putin. Granted, beating up Putin is often self-justifying, but really, one must make sure the weapon of choice doesn’t wind up cutting the wielder.

      • Charles II said

        That’s the point.

        I think attitudes in Russia are hardening because they see that this accusation is unjust. It also has resonance with KAL007, where the US knew that the Soviets had shot it down accidentally and that the US knew the plane was off course but failed to warn, but the US accused the Soviets of cold-blooded murder anyway.

        This is really dangerous. Decision makers are human beings and subject to human emotions. As long as they are making decisions based on rational calculations, wars can generally be avoided. But when they conclude that the opponent is a perverse bastard, wars become inevitable.

        Stephen Cohen says we are in a new Cold War. I think that our actions in the Ukraine mean that we are not far from a new hot one.

  2. My response to one of the commenters coming to Thousand Mountains’ defense:

    I know Charles

    And you know as well as I do that Thousand Mountains was trying the old insinuation game of putting the slime words (in this case “Russian Troll”) next to the name of the person he wanted to slime (in this case “Charles”).

    And I find it truly amusing that you, who seem to be a reasonably smart person, haven’t stopped to wonder why one should not wonder if someone who just signed up to DKos on October 21, 2014, may well himself be a troll who signed up in order to lob hasbara-style attacks at someone who has been signed up at Daily Kos for several years.

    • Charles II said

      I appreciate the support, PW. I do.

      I post on difficult topics. I have complex and nuanced views, which I often have to shorthand. As you know, recent duties mean I don’t have the time to post with as much precision as I used to. And I guess I have less patience with people who are not there to debate fairly.

      So, I expect to get flak. I think that if one responds patiently and factually to most flamethrowers, one will garner some respect and maybe change a few minds.

      And that’s why I think that something is broken about DK. There used to be a fair number of people who would defend unpopular opinions just for the sake of basic civility. Now it is all slash and burn. Is it just an election thing, where the only people not focused on election are odd ducks like me, and people whose function is to undermine civility. But it seems to me that things have gone downhill for a while.

      • It’s the election.

        It was actually much worse during the runup to 2008, when there was this huge flame war between the Obama and HRC camps. That was when some of the loopier Obama partisans started gaming the DK ratings system to try and silence anyone they didn’t like. They got so good at this, and at working the DK refs, that they managed to get people banned just for linking to the evidence (namely, an online plotting group that was originally open and visible to all before they realized that their victims knew about their little treehouse). I myself came within an ace of being banned from DK forever as a result, and my UID is in the low four digits.

        The moderating system was since changed to make it harder to game the system in the way they’d been gaming it, but unfortunately one longtime rule — that of the waiting period for new commenters — was dropped, which has led to an influx of trolls like Tausendberg.

  3. Jay Farquharson understands you, at least:

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