Monday, October 28, 2013


I hit my Facebook "Unfriend" button for the first time today, and have been reflecting about it since.

Previously, I edited the settings of Facebook friends, to control how many and which types of posts appear on my News Feed. But today's problem was from the other end - a contact requesting I no longer post in a way they dislike.

It's an interesting problem. If something appears on my news feed about which I have a strong opinion, I usually respond, as it is after all on my feed - visible to all my friends, thus leaving it uncommented upon gives the appearance of agreement. Having friends of widely varied views, I keep comments cheerful and polite, and avoid goring oxen in such a public setting.

Today, that wasn't enough. Accused of something I hadn't done, and not knowing what I could do to please while still respecting myself, I hit "Unfriend."

Matthew 18:16-18 suggests when someone offends us, we should first go to them in private. That didn't happen today, which raises the interesting question of whether I in turn should go first in private. Several articles I read today advised not to - just hit the "Unfriend" button; don't rub anyone's nose in it and don't tell them why unless asked. On the other hand, if my action is ever noticed, I'll be happy to accept a new Friend request, and we can then discuss how they too can prune posts they don't want to see.

Update 6/28/17: As noted above, I usually just unfollow folks whose opinions on my Facebook newsfeed add stress to my life. But for some reason that stopped working this week. I unfollowed 3 Facebook friends as usual, but the changes did not stick. They were instantly back in my newsfeed, showing as followed. Even using a different browser to unfollow them had no effect. After realizing all 3 now live 2,000 miles away and are never likely to be in the same room as me again, and haven't posted anything I needed to read in recent years, I went ahead and unfriended them.

But here's hoping Facebook gets the unfollow feature working again soon.

Update 11/12/17: Turns out this issue isn't only in virtual communities. I resigned from a volunteer committee yesterday morning. It had been stressful for some time due to a long-standing issue some on the committee just couldn't ever fully face, and a stress-related ailment of mine triggered again this week, which I took as a clear sign to remove this stress from my life. As Kenny Rogers once sang "You've got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Paid to Lose

John Stauber has an interesting new article in Counterpunch: Paid to Lose - The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats
"There is good news in the Boston Globe today for the managers, development directors, visionaries, political hacks and propaganda flacks who run 'the Progressive Movement.'   More easy-to-earn and easy-to-hide soft money, millions of dollars,  will be flowing to them from super rich Democrats and business corporations.  It will come clean, pressed and laundered through Organizing for Action, the latest incarnation of the Obama Money Machine which has recently morphed into a 'nonpartisan non-profit corporation' that will  ‘strengthen the progressive movement and train our next generation of leaders.’

Does this information concern you?  If not, you need to get out of the propaganda bubble of your Progressive Movement echo chamber and think.  Think hard.  Think about fundamental, radical, democratic, social and economic change, who might bring it about and how?  Ask yourself if the rich elite, the 1%, are going to fund that?   Leave The Nation and Mother Jones on the shelf;  turn off Ed Schultz, Rachel Madow and Chris Hayes;  don’t open that barrage of email missives from Alternet, Media Matters, MoveOn, and the other think tanks;  and get your head out of the liberal blogosphere for a couple days.  Clear your mind and consider this:

The self-labeled Progressive Movement that has arisen over the past decade is primarily one big propaganda campaign serving the political interests of the the Democratic Party’s richest one-percent who created it."

I've been thinking this for a while; nice to see someone else noticing.

For me the interesting thing about all the calls from radical Democratic party-associated groups to punish the fat cats of Wall Street is that it never actually happens, no matter how many Democrats are elected, or how much noise they make about justice.

I can't think of even one person who's actually been indicted, let alone gone to jail for any of the actions that led to the crash of 2008. Instead, most of the 1%ers who did that were bailed out by two successive administrations, leaving all the pain to be borne by the 99%. Progressive friend Paul talks a lot about growing injustice in America. Well, here's our smoking gun of how that keeps happening.

Might be time for the 99% to look more seriously at third parties. Sure they'll lose, at least at first, but how is that different for them from what's happened under both current major parties' 1%ers?

HT Top the News

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bobby Jindal leads the way

Here is the text of Bobby Jindal's recent speech to the Republican National Committee:

Ideas that impressed me:
"We must not become the party of austerity. We must become the party of growth."

"first you must win the argument, then you can win the elections." (quoting Margaret Thatcher)

"we will not win elections by simply pointing out the failures of the other side."

"solving problems closer to home should always be our first, not last, option."

"Get rid of the loopholes"

"reject identity politics"

"quit 'big.'"

"focus on real people outside of Washington"

We also need to stop funding media, companies and institutions that always and only support our opposition. Not a single ad or subscription or tuition or purchase dollar, ever again. Put that money to better use buying and supporting new media, institutions and products.

We can never out-promise or out-demonize those willing to say and do anything to win. All we can do is ignore their latest distraction and stand up for Truth and Freedom, knowing we'll be hated and attacked even if we say and do nothing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Anything I can do, short of a loan

Excellent summary by Rev. Donald Sensing, on why cash is rarely the right way to help strangers in need, even for a Christian. I long ago learned that if a stranger approaches me downtown with a need that can apparently only be met with cash, that is the one thing I must never give if I truly care. This is really sad too, as a dear friend once found herself downtown without CTA fare home, and had to beg for hours, because professional panhandlers so often abuse the generosity of strangers.