Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Notoriety Prevails

Bay Area Indymedia follows up the election:
The Democractic Party has taken control of the House of Representatives and Nancy Pelosi is set to become the Speaker of The House. Control of the Senate is not yet known. Democracts control at least 47 seats, with Republicans controlling 49, and 1 seat going to Socialist Bernie Sanders and one to Joe Lieberman (who lost the Democratic Primary to antiwar candidate Ned Lamont). Two additional Senate seats are still up in the air but appear to be leaning toward wins by the Democrats. Among well known Republicans who lost their seats Tuesday were the notorious anti-gay politician Rick Santorum, and the notorious anti-environment politician Richard Pombo.
Being notorious is clearly a winning strategy.

Meanwhile, on DC Indymedia, from before the election comes this suggestion
CNN’s Internet reporters Jacki Schechner and Abbi Tatton will host the first “CNN E-lection Nite Blog Party” at Tryst, a Washington, D.C. hotspot for young politicos. The party will gather many of the top political bloggers from across the country to blog together...Might be time to crash this little corporate media yuppie e-fest with your favorite props and raise a few timely issues - say Iraq, Palestine, Oaxaca, DC statehood, global warming, health care, union busting, — you know, stuff you won't read about on Daily Kos.

Just a thought. Something to break up the tedium of another sham election night.
Subseqeuent comments:
Screw the District Building. Try a disruption at Tryst — not just a goddamn' sit-in, but a real shit-kicking disruption… something so raucous and crazy that CNN is unable to telecast.

Don't just sit in, don't just be "civilly" disobedient — but really bust up the scene.

That is, bust up CNN's scene, not Tryst. I kinda like the place, myself.
Later, the pro-marijuana and the anti-military activists get in a fight:
Why not do something useful rather than hitting the bong hit the recruiting station with a brick
It's unclear if anything happened, but I can just imagine Indymedia people storming a blogfest and quickly realizing just how relevant they are.

As for the "sham election", there were plenty such arguments in the last few days. I have a sneaking feeling we won't be hearing much more about that... Just a feeling.

SF-IMC is claiming that the election is irrelevant:
SF-IMC is claiming that the election is irrelevant

Thanks for the spam link to your irrelevant sewer, nessie.

How predictable....
Being called "irrelevant" by self-promoting-sock-puppet nessie is like being called "dishonest" by Richard Nixon.
Gehrig? What are you doing on here. I know you hate Nessie but as far as I can tell this site is now run by right-wing Republicans who loved Pombo and Santorum.
Sure you are proisrael but have you now turned to the right on all other issues too?
Run by far right Republicans? I take offense to that. Anyone who checks up on my personal blog will tell you I am no fan of people like Santorum.
I'm still very much a lefty, and I don't claim to agree with everything on this site any more than I claim to agree with everything on my IMC (or anyone else's).

When this site says that the Indymedia network has a structural problem with antisemitism -- that some IMCs embrace and promote it, only in a barely disguised form -- then I agree.

When it argues that stark raving ravings like nessie's are somehow all that the IMC network is capable of, or even the midpoint of what the IMC network is capable of, then I disagree.

I also strongly disagree that being pro-Israel makes a person right-wing. Take a look at the 2006 exit polls for House races and you'll see that Jews -- surely an overwhelmingly pro-Israel constituency -- voted Democratic over Republican by a seven-to-one ratio.
"I...Jews -- surely an overwhelmingly pro-Israel constituency -- voted Democratic over Republican by a seven-to-one ratio."

Religious Jews tend to the right on Israel but I'm a secular Jew and tend to sympathize more with the Palestinians. I think about half of those actively writing blurbs for Indybay are from Jewish backgrounds and I can see how that would explain a greater interest in Israel just due to having relatives living there but I dont see how it makes one less sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians. I think the wanting to feel secure vs wanting justice for the opressed fight back dynamic spans many mroe issues than Israel-Palestine in how people think (from views on violent crime when counterposed against police brutality to how one thinks of resistance struggles in Central American in the 1980s vs the actual attrocities of some Soviet backed regimes in other parts of the world)

As for Nessie. I dont know what your fixation on him is. I had almost forgotten about him before I saw you here talking about his site.

Ok I will probably go back to ignoring this site but am confused how someone like you can chime in as you do on a post like this. The focus of this post was attacking Indybay for being antiPombo and antiSantorum (I guess). A good number of Republicans voted against both because of their extreme right-wing views. Sure you care about Israel, but most of the blurbs on this site are picking on Indymedia sites for being antiRepublican and for random unhidden posts (which on some unmoderated indymedia sites is like criticizing the internet for having some bad sites on it)
The only problem I see is that you seem to be doing a little bit of guilt-by-association. I'm thrilled to death that Santorum's gone, and what I know about Pembo makes me consider his defeat a major victory for the environment. The fact that I've made a comment in this thread doesn't say much about anything except for what I actually made a comment on.

I don't see everything as divided into two teams, Us and Them. When this site is right, it's right. When it's wrong, it's wrong. My being here is called "reaching across the aisle."

It's also not my experience that secular Jews are more pro-Palestinian than religious Jews, until you get into the fringes of the American Jewish spectrum. There's this stereotype out there of "the religious Jew" that equates religiosity with being right-wing, and I just don't think the stereotype holds up under investigation. One of the leading Israeli human rights groups, B'Tselem, takes a specifically Biblical name, for example, a specific reminder that the Palestinian is no less human than the Jew, that both are made "in His image" (= "b'tselmo").

I also object to the implication that "pro-Israel" means "anti-Palestinian." To cast it as a zero-sum game is to create the kind of environment in which the conflict can proceed forever. I am pro-Israel _and_ pro-Palestinian. But I also believe the Palestinian people have suffered under the most self-defeating leadership imaginable, and have blown chance after chance to have a viable independent state because of it. The right-wing-Zionist dream of a Greater Israel is unrealistic. The Hamas dream of no-more-Israel is just as unrealistic. Israel, with its evacuation of Gaza, shows that it's given up that self-damaging dream. When will the Hamas-led Palestinian government give up _their_ self-damaging dream?
The focus of this post was attacking Indybay for being antiPombo and antiSantorum (I guess)

Actually, no. I was merely scoffing at how easily (and repetitively) the term "notorious" was thrown around. There was no subsequent comment and Indybay readers are looking for commentary that isn't there - I'm not in the Bay Area so don't really have a strong awareness. Perhaps I was out of line? Unintentional.

To be honest, the post-election wrapup has been disappointing. I assumed there would be some choice material to point at and laugh, but frankly it's absent (or I have not found it).

Save for a few links in this thread (over which I have little control) there's not a lot more to be said.
"It's also not my experience that secular Jews are more pro-Palestinian than religious Jews"

Not sure in general but many people who work in Palestinian rights groups and/or write artciles about the Palestinian plight are Jewish (some religious some not).
Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Dennis Bernstein, Barbara Lubin, Michael Lerner, etc....

Indymedia sites may have some questionable antiSemitic stuff on them and on some sites it may not getting hidden (or take awhile to get hidden) but I dont think there is any more antiSemitic stuff than homophobic stuff, misogynou stuff or other bad things that get posted to any open posting website.

In terms of guilt by association, I think thats the problem with the games sites like this play with random links to unhidden posts on Indymedias. That you were over here at all troubled me (although I was over hear looking around so it doesnt mean much). I know you have helped with UC Indymedia and it seemed a little disturbing that you were hanging out on the "I hate Indymedia" smear site, but I guess you were just responding to a comment you thought was Nessie and you respond to those all over the internet (not sure why... I think his tone hurts him more than your arguing with him)
To the anonymous poster above me.

I am glad to see that an Indymedia supporter is prepared to read and respond rationally to this site.

You seem to think that the problems that are pointed out on this site are not representative of Indymedia as a whole.

I hope this site represents the worst minority of Indymedia posts, but my experience tells me that this blog shows a pretty accurate representation of a fair number of indy sites.

The problem with Indymedia seems to be that open publishing and 'good' journalism can't mix unless there is strong consistent and transparent editorial control.

Good journalism would emphasise truth, fairness and quality (i.e. spelling), but this takes substantial resources.

The indymedias that fall down tend to emphasise open publishing too much (so that hate speech, conspiracy theories and made up stories etc flourish) or tend to become subject to partial editors who hide anything they disagree with.

The worst are the ones with partial editors who consistently push their views to the exclusion of all else.

You believe in indymedia, how do you manage to get the balance right?
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