Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

RIP Booman.com

by Frank Schnittger Sun May 5th, 2019 at 07:38:23 PM EST


Martin Longman has decided to turn his community blogging site (Booman.com) into a commercial subscription site as a vehicle for his own writings and political ambitions. Comments will still be possible but even paying subscribers will no longer be able to publish their own diaries. Renamed Progress Pond, it looks much more up to date, but then again it looks very much like most other political and news sites on the web.

From a personal point of view it is a tragedy because I used to cross-post most of my diaries there, and often got as much of a response to them there as I do here. It helped me to keep in touch with a distinct US blogging community, and I liked to think I helped to keep them in touch with European affairs as well. With Trump at the helm the US is growing ever more distant from European sensibilities, and it doesn't help if blogging communities lose touch with each other as well.


Martin is, of course, perfectly entitled to do whatever he wants with his site. He has laboured long and hard over it and had to survive on the goodwill and donations of his user base. In more recent times he has also gotten a job as online Editor of the Washington Monthly, and undoubtedly doesn't have as much time to devote to a mainly voluntary effort any more.

While Booman.com used to have other front page contributors as well, these have gradually faded away and Martin was left - or chose - to plough a lone furrow. He has become a very knowledgeable observer of the US political scene and of "inside the beltway" Washington politics in particular. US political nerds will undoubtedly keep him on their list of favourites or bookmarked sites, but those looking for a broader coverage of topics or more diverse perspectives will have to look elsewhere. There are only so many topics one writer can cover, and only so many articles he can produce.

Blogging as a voluntary community based activity seems to be dying a death everywhere, replaced by social media "influencers" on Facebook and Instagram, and by photographs, videos, graphics, and snappy one liners rather than 1,000 word articles followed by a vibrant debate where you can interact directly with the author if you choose. Everywhere everyone seems to be trying to monetise online discourse somehow, whether by advertising or subscription based models. Hell I can't even play Spider Solitaire any more without Microsoft force-feeding me imbecilic ads.

Participation rates at the European Tribune have also struggled in recent times, and I don't know how much longer we can survive in our current form. I don't want to have to start my own one person blog, because it is the interaction with others here that I value the most. Somehow I can't help but feel I am a practitioner of a dying art, and that soon we will all be caught up in a maelstrom of corporately sponsored news, oligarch mouth pieces, and state sponsored dis-information programmes. You can't even trust the BBC any more.

So many thanks to all of you who help to keep this place going. To our few remaining front pagers who keep an ageing technology functional, the spammers away, the newsroom flowing, and the chatrooms abuzz. My thanks also to all of you who lurk, comment, recommend, and occasionally contribute your own diaries. We may not always agree, but your good faith contributions are always welcome. Lets see if we can survive for another year...

Display:
Old soldiers never die ... they just fade away!

That's how it's been and always should be. Have been a contributor @BooMan's place from the very beginning early in 2005. American politics had changed and so did the community spirit of the Pond.

There have been many excellent writers at the Pond beyond the "front pages" and the archive was a welcome entry point for review.

Wishing Martin much succes and hoping he gets the chance to represent his PA constituency 😉. The loss of Martin's best friend - the Booman on 4 legs - was a true setback.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun May 5th, 2019 at 07:55:45 PM EST
Thanks for letting this great community know about the newly launched Progress Pond, Frank.

I hope people come participate in the new Frog Pond. And thanks for all your contributions to Booman Tribune over the years.

As for my "political ambitions," this is the first I've heard of them. I think I spent too much time on Dead Tour for that to be a real option. Plus, you know, there is my archives.  

I hope you keep this place afloat. In fact, I hope you find a way to get a much bigger audience for it. It's going to be hard on this platform as I learned myself.  Everything is driven through social media these days and aggregating sites. And that means pictures and captions.  

by BooMan on Sun May 5th, 2019 at 11:47:34 PM EST
Although I have previously argued, that you should run for office, that is not necessarily the sense in which I meant "political ambitions" here. Political ambitions can include becoming influential in the media, as a political consultant, or as an appointed office holder following the election of a favoured candidate. I have no doubt you will become increasingly influential within the Democratic party, and who knows, that may some day lead to elected or appointed office.

But my main point stands, and that is that you have chosen to focus exclusively on your political/media work, and that no longer includes hosting a broader blogging community with strong links to Europe and the wider world. Washington's gain is our loss. Don't forget you can always cross-post here if you want to reach out to a wider audience.

I wish you all the best...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon May 6th, 2019 at 08:01:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As a community noted for its social fabric, the Pond died a few years ago. As I noted above, politics has changed and the spirit @ThePond became quite hostile. There have been turf wars before, on the other hand BooMan's Place welcomed views from a broad range on the basics of democracy. Likely with the advance of social media, bloggers became sour, lazy and quite vile in posting comments. Didn't last long before there was true policing of thought and the obvious troll ratings. This has left a blemish on the Pond as a welcoming community of the past and its founding. Yes, my rights to post a diary were taken away.

A world view on American foreign policy can only be worthwhile by accepting views from allies across the big pond, the Atlantic Ocean. Knowledge of world history, global culture and meeting foreigners should be part of every day life for bloggers interested in politics and living together on planet Earth. That's why the European Tribune is so very precious.

Views on the candidacy in the Democratic primaries between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton (HRC) were very devisive @ThePond and led to a turf battle that will now be left behind in the founding of Progress Pond. Great move.

Libya and Syria were decisions under Obama's presidency that once again soured relations with allies in the Western world and led to an expansion of terror across Africa and the Middle East. Quite similar to the foolish decision under George Bush to expand the war in Afghanistan to Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein. These actions led to favourable conditions for the Ayatollahs in Iran throughout the Middle East. As a result an idiot like Trump can proudly sail his armada into the Persian Gulf flying the American flag.

BooMan's take on Libya ...

Obama's Biggest Mistake Was Hillary's Fault

My take on Haftar and Libya ...

US Marines On the Shore of `Montezuma and Tripoli'

Trump's politics today in Libya ... siding with Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Gen. Haftar, France and Russia.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Mon May 6th, 2019 at 12:52:44 PM EST
"Yes, my rights to post a diary were taken away."
I missed that. You were one of the most active contributors. Although I often disagreed with your conclusions (and sometimes your premises), I always respected your opinions and your efforts to change the world for the better.  

I was unable to login here using my BoomanTribune name or to reset the password. So, I created this new name. If I am persona non grata, I will go away quietly. I confess to being passionate about US politics, but I am more "in learning mode" about Europe. My grandparents were European immigrants to the USA, but they had no votes in their homeland. Indeed, my paternal grandfather's father was an armed rebel against the Italian government.

I too came to Booman Tribune around 2005, some time after the failure of the Dean campaign. It was much much different then. It all started changing when Mr. Longman got that big media gig. The 2016 campaign ripped it apart. I won't recycle that sorry debacle.

I'm glad you haven't given up, Oui.

by StillInTheWilderness on Thu May 9th, 2019 at 03:53:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are most welcome here, and free to publish diaries as you please. We will have to increase our grass roots coverage of USA affairs here now that Booman.com is no longer available as a publishing resource for all...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 9th, 2019 at 04:18:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@BooMan I had UserID #430 ... here @EuroTrib I was quick on the draw with UserID #40  :)

Indeed building the Pond through the first year was great fun with the Welcome Wagon diaries. Made many, many friends who had much respect and appreciation for one another and our diaries. Got a nomination for the Koufax Award in that first year, both as Oui @BooMan and as crevecoeur @dKos !! Creve Coeur was my hometown living in the States and the Indian legend behind the name was very meaningful in my life and linked to my feeling moving back to Europe.

In the month of June in 2005, there was a surge of new members - mostly female - thanks to an odd ball remark about women writers @DailyKos by the proprietor Markos Moulitsas. The membership @BooMan rose quickly beyond the 1500 mark. The good old days.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Thu May 9th, 2019 at 05:16:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice to see you here.

You are most welcome to write diaries. Just don't take disagreement for discouragement. People here are an opinionated bunch, but more expressed through qoutes, links and arguments than downratings and such.

Btw, with you here I am reminded that I should mention that I have seen some former Booman commenters at
caucus99percent.com which is a group blogging site to the left of Democrats (I would place Booman to the left within the Democrats, and Daily Kos as mainstream Democrats). I've only lurked there, but it looks like good old blogging.

by fjallstrom on Thu May 9th, 2019 at 09:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, thank you. I've been "The Voice In the Wilderness" there for some time. It's rather strange experience to be one of the most conservative members! Definitely new for me. But I like that there are only approval ratings, no disapproval or hide ratings. Most are refugees from Daily Kos, ake "the orange place (TOP)" or "the Great Orange Satan (GOS)".  When I get not ratings or one or two, I know that my post was either unremarkable or not well received. definitely not well-received if there is a counter-post. When I get 21, 22, 23, I have struck a chord. I have seen others like Steven D, and Bob In Portland, that I remember as old denizens of the Frog Pond. And a new one, whose handle I don't recall but is apparently a Southerner or Appalachian. Like me, he or she is most concerned with the practical side rather than the theoretical.

I see Europe once again in the vanguard of sociopolitical change. I'm haunted by a remark of my late Uncle a few years ago, "Maybe it's time for the family to go back to Europe." This over a century after they came to the USA! (late 1890's in the Great Wave from Southern and eastern Europe.) Of course, he was a first generation American while I am a second generation. He grew up bilingual and drinking table wine at age 12.

by StillInTheWilderness on Thu May 9th, 2019 at 11:57:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nowadays I try te leave US politics and focus on the effect of its foreign policy on Europe, the Middle East and all other continents. Hopefully here @EuroTrib we can focus on the most urgent issues at hand for planet Earth - Gaia - and its living creatures.

Americans and their trauma of 2016 - h/t Cat

Today I read an artikel about the US Ambassador to Germany ... why doesn't he get the boot from Berlin?

Further reading my new diary - Europe Day - May 9th 2019.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri May 10th, 2019 at 09:35:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
countries don't get to choose who the ambassador sent to them will be.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 10th, 2019 at 02:59:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well in extremis they can declare them persona non grata, but it's close to a declaration of war. Best just to let him continue to make a fool of himself - and Trump... although he dosn't need help.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 10th, 2019 at 03:19:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egypt dared with proposed U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford of Syria fame ...

    Come to think of it, that was Blue America with Obama-HRC-Erdogan-MuslimBrotherhood.
    Today it's Red America with Sisi-Trump-Pompeo-MBS-SaudiArabia.

So all worked out all right in the end - Libya with Haftar, a CIA asset.

Former US Amb. Robert Ford as an expert witness in New York
Townhall Meeting Ms Clinton with CNN's Amanpour - embarrassed by Robert Ford speaking out

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri May 10th, 2019 at 04:00:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if we're going meta....

The first great flowering of the blogos, shall we say 2002 - 2009 coincided with the growth of the internet and a certain naive idealism about how it might change things.

With the election of Obama for many liberals in the US it felt like "job done, whilst in Europe we were watching the collapse and failure of what Blair called "muscular liberalism" across the neoconservative left. All across europe governments turned to the right; especially after the crash.

Once we had money and leisure, now we are broke and seek distractions. Worse, hope that the connected generations might effect change has evaporated. The blogs didn't change anything. Occupy, which was a smarter version of the disobedience of Seattle, tried but failed.

Now we're on mkIII with Extinction Rebellion, a week long TED Talk. If it's making any real difference I'm not seeing it.

So, now ET is, along with dKos that last survivor of the Great Flowering. dKos found a purpose, but its every new iteration takes it closer and closer to being simply a new semi-official organisation within the Democratic Party. It has a usp in that it is quite devolved and more meritocratic, but I would be curious to see how that evolves in the next decade.

But ET never did find a purpose. Beyond boosting wind energy as an unofficial guerilla advertising campaign for Green Giraffe. And we have struggled with that.

We never got to grips with the EU as an entity either. We lacked expertise.

Do we have future? Of course. As long as there are a few people willing to talk intelligently about things. But I know I've been burned by brexit. I cannot imagine what it is like in the US, to actually really care about US politics. Because, FSM knows, I look at the UK and feel like it is burning down around me and I worry that a greater part of me thinks it's probably for the best.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 8th, 2019 at 08:47:59 PM EST
It's profoundly depressing here is what it is, but not unforeseen.  I was at the Battle in Seattle and some Occupy.  I kep saying that street theater wasn't going to accomplish anything and kept reminding them of what Vonnegut said about the ultimate effect of all the artists' protests against the Vietnam War.  And of course nothing happened, and now we're where we are.  Yesterday I was talking with a friend who has about a dozen years on me.  We agreed we can't blame Millennials for not bothering much with long range planning.  A big part of me has gone full Ra's al Ghul: The plug needs pulled, so do it now and stop wasting resources.
by rifek on Thu May 9th, 2019 at 12:42:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I know I've been burned by brexit. I cannot imagine what it is like in the US, to actually really care about US politics. Because, FSM knows, I look at the UK and feel like it is burning down around me and I worry that a greater part of me thinks it's probably for the best.

It's tough to care about US politics at times, honestly.  Obviously the country is a dystopian clown show at the moment with the sentient balloon animal in the White House.

And on the left we're obviously still dealing with the stupidity of the Hillary-Bernie partisans fighting, as we have been for what seems like a millennium because neither can fucking let it go.  I'm dreading the primary.

More so, for me, it's just a matter of 2016 having left me thinking -- and I'm sure many there in Britain can relate after the Brexit vote -- "Yeah, fuck people."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu May 9th, 2019 at 10:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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