Tag Archives: Blogosphere

Anti-Castro blogger Yoani Sanchez hears from Obama ahead of Fidel

Havana pseudo-blogger Yoani Sánchez has the ear of President Obama, what a surprise. In the wake of not being able to travel to the US to receive an astroturf accolade from Columbia University, then a much ballyhooed —but uncorroborated— story of Cuban police making her late for a counter-revolutionary “pro-democracy” rally, the ordinary Cuban who wires her posts to her Miami-based anti-Castro blog posed “my seven questions” for President Obama, and lo, received his answers. She showed up Fidel Castro himself, who posed seven questions to candidate Obama in May 2008, because he’s still waiting.

Read Ms Sánchez’s dismissible PR tracts elsewhere. Let’s look at what Comrade Fidel was asking. Why would Obama have trouble summoning answers to these questions?

Is it right for the president of the US to order the assassination of any one person in the world, whatever the pretext?

Is it ethical for the president of the US to order the torture of other human beings?

Should state terrorism be used by a country as powerful as the US as an instrument to bring peace to the planet?

Is an Adjustment Act, applied as punishment to only one country, Cuba, in order to destabilize it, good and honorable when it costs innocent children and mothers their lives?

Are the brain drain and the continuous theft of the best scientific and intellectual minds in poor countries moral and justifiable?

Is it fair to stage preemptive attacks?

Is it honorable and sane to invest millions and millions of dollars in the military-industrial complex, to produce weapons that can destroy life on earth several times over? Is that the way in which the US expresses its respect for freedom, democracy and human rights?

Although condemned by US diplomats, the brief detention of Ms Sánchez may yet prove to have been a fabrication. Wanna wager the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is funded by Zionists? I’m always puzzled by what horse Israel could have in the South America or Caribbean races, but they do.

Shari McHugh is a lobbyist to the California State Legislature

NMT has been given a deadline of 5PM MST to inform our readers that California lobbyist Shari McHugh, previously implicated by the savage blogosphere to have shared improper congress with disgraced Calif. Assemblyman Michael Duvall, was wrongly identified as Duvall’s second mistress. In fact, there is no such evidence.

NOT MY TRIBE has been informed by attorney Dale Stern of the law firm of Stern, Van Vleck, and McCarron, LLC, that McHugh, of the “highly regarded Sacramento lobbying firm of McHugh and Associates” is not the “Shar” mentioned in Duvall’s infamously indiscreet bragging. Perfectly fair enough. We regret echoing the false conjecture.

To read the lengthy comment threads on newspaper blogs about the comic fall of Representative Duvall , it’s unsurprising how many readers equate lobbyists with prostitutes. NMT is satisfied then to repeat what we have now verified by the legal notice given us, McHugh is a lobbyist to the California State Legislature.

We have now to ascertain for which special interests her firm of McHugh and Associates lobbied. Consumer advocates, for example, are usually called advocates, not lobbyists. We will then be able to extrapolate how many of our fellow citizens Shari McHugh has screwed.

It’s true, Shari McHugh was tarred with the Michael Duvall scandal on the flimsiest of innuendo. But the charge of being a lobbyist sticks.

Common Dreams Quid Pro Toe

How delighted I was to receive an email from Common Dreams, showing signs of skepticism finally at President Obama’s growing betrayal of American progressives. After censoring CD participants who criticize the Democratic Party for its capitulation to corporate centrism, even banning the persistent voices from its online discussions, the blogosphere giant now purports to have examined it stats and rediscovered its radical base. I’m thrilled that CD has met its enemy, and it is not us, but I wish their epiphany wasn’t about who’s left to tap for money.

How can we but surmise that Common Dreams enjoyed financial support from Obama’s Dems, for toeing the party line? They paid the bills, the dream was blue.

Now that Obama is in office, and his progressive supporters don’t have the charm of his new globalist friends, Common Dreams has to go back to stickball with the rest of us with no access. I’d be a lot more inclined toward sympathy for Common Dreams if it showed some remorse for having cast aside so many while it co-opted the common dream to make it about Barack Obama.

Here’s the fund raising letter from Common Dreams, saying all the right things, just like President False Hope himself.

July 24, 2009

Dear Friend of CommonDreams.org,

When Americans voted overwhelmingly for ‘Change’ last November 4th, I, like so many of you, was hopeful.

Hopeful that we’d bring our troops home. Hopeful for a major commitment to safe, renewable energy.

Hopeful that Wall Street and corporate lobbyists would no longer be able to treat our elected representatives like puppets on a string.

Hopeful that Guantánamo would be closed and the torturers would be prosecuted. That the post-9/11 trampling of our civil liberties would be reversed.

Hopeful that President Obama would rally the people around a bold, progressive overhaul of our sickly healthcare ‘system.’

Hopeful that the neglected investments in our people, our future, would begin again.

But frankly, seven months into the new administration, my hope is fading.

I have days when I think we’ll never overcome this system.

But I never have a day when I think about giving up.

Four times a year we ask you to support our work. Will you help today by making a secure online donation today to our Summer Appeal?

Two of the most popular articles on CommonDreams.org these past months were writings by longtime activists, Paul Hawken and Derrick Jensen.

Two tireless fighters against the system.

It was clear from the stats on our site that the words of these two progressive thinkers resonated with you, and with all of our readers.

Paul Hawken has been warning against the accelerating decline of Planet Earth for decades. As he said in his May 3 speech to graduates of the University of Portland, Oregon, “If you look at the science about what’s happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data.”

But he also spoke of hope: “. . . if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.”

Last I checked, I still had a pulse.

Jensen’s prognosis for civilisation is even more sober. Still, even he urges us to resist – by voting, running for office, boycotting, organizing, lobbying, protesting. And, he says, “when a government becomes destructive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we have the right to alter or abolish it.”

Altering or abolishing a government is not for the faint of heart.

But sitting idly, silently by while our planet, our government, and our society self-destruct is not for people like you and me.

Common Dreamers were so inspired by the words of these two writers, they forwarded them to thousands of others to read.

Thousands of people like you, who will use the information to help fuel the fight for truth.

The fight for what’s right.

The fight for what the majority of Americans say, in poll after poll, they want – and yet are being denied by a government that is bought and paid for by corporations and a tiny percentage of people who hold the vast majority of wealth in this country.

Jensen ends his article with a call to action: “We can follow the example of those who remembered that the role of an activist is not to navigate systems of oppressive power with as much integrity as possible, but rather to confront and take down those systems.”

The time to get confrontational is now.

Because tomorrow might be too late.

Please help us continue to inform and inspire and ignite change by making a secure donation today. Or, you can use our print and mail form, which includes our mailing address, to send a check

Thank you so much.

Gratefully,

Craig Brown
Executive Director
for the whole CommonDreams.org team

P.S. Please consider signing up to make a monthly donation. And don’t forget to ask your employer about a matching gifts program. Please pitch in today!

Informal Denver bloggers convention

Incognito bloggers at Churchill Trial

Academic Press stringerDENVER- Blog wonks filled the courtroom today to witness the closing arguments of Freedom of Speech on trial. The twin Rocky Mountain News fiends were on hand, as were plenty of their blogosphere stringers. Can you help us put names to some of these faces? Confidential emails to editor@notmytribe will serve just fine. We have a most benevolent motive to shed light on nocturnal anti-socials.

Isn’t it awkward, that those in support of Ward Churchill, to draw the battle lines in terms of this trial, have no qualms being represented publically, but those opposed, even as they think themselves to represent the mainstream, are fiercely protective of their anonymity? How weirdly weak of them.

PART DEUX
Alright, it didn’t begin innocently. During the first courtroom break today, I was aiming my camera at the video media grotto, because my earlier photo had been taken with a cellphone, but also so that I might have a pretense to shoot wide and grab an image or two of some heretofore faceless note-takers, when a woman in the vicinity strode over to ask that I not take her picture.

I noted that I was sure her back had been turned, if even she was in the frame, but it mattered not, and she insisted that I show her the picture and then delete it in her presence. I acquiesced reluctantly, only because I had better things to do than argue with a “lawyer” about what right she had to ask me to do anything. But it didn’t end there. When I moved to intercept a friend with whom I urgently needed to speak before the break was over, the woman followed me, insisting that I prove that I hadn’t other exposures in which she was featured. She wouldn’t stop interrupting until I had found others, and deleted them, after which she walked away, her head turned back, facing me with a mock smile and wave, as if to verify that I wasn’t trying to take another picture of her back.

I thought the strange episode was over, until I reentered the courtroom to see the woman point me out to a companion, both of them seated in the front row reserved for the press, from which they alternated giving me cold stares and taking snapshots with a cellphone. WTF? At the finish of that session, the woman approached me again, wanting to apologize for the rude tact she’s taken. I accepted, but it seemed she also wanted to explain.

I had pressing contacts to pursue, but she followed me again, and grew vocally agitated anew, this time that I would not stop to hear her story. By the time we exited the courtroom, her harangue had grown embarrassing. I no longer had her image on my camera, she knew that, what claim did she have to detain me a moment further and impede what little courtroom social time remained?

When I finally turned, I had my camera in hand and began to take flash pictures as I asked her to please leave me alone. Instead she and her friend closed in, trying to block my lens, yelling until you could call it a melee and others were taking our picture, and Ward Churchill was emerging from the courtroom on the sidelines.

Ward Churchill trial

Now I had plenty of head shots, and shouted explanations –coordinated between the two friends– that the original objection was due to her sensitivity about her fat butt, and a fresh request that I show sympathy for her awful complexion. In the light of the crowd’s scrutiny I was able to walk away, but next they sought out the courtroom officer to request that I surrender my photographs. He wasn’t unprincipled enough to assert that I was obligated to do that, and he was satisfied that I wield my camera with more discretion lest I accidentally record an image of a juror, giving cause for a retrial. I accepted his advice, but the two shrews kept up their complaining to him until we left the courthouse for lunch.

her aggressive friendAfter lunch the strange woman kept to the media circles. I’d noticed a lanyard about her neck, but whatever ID hung upon it she’d stuffed into a front pocket, perhaps to conceal an identity, perhaps to pretend it was a press pass. Later in the courtroom I noticed her again, this time beyond the audience area, across the banister, chatting with two courtroom workers.

I’ve no idea her story. Does it strike you odd? Why would anyone presume their photograph was going to end up online. Now, with ample cause, in response to harassment.

Churchill and his curiously vile detractors

Ward Churchill caricatureDENVER- There’s an interesting sideshow at the Churchill v CU case having to do with a cadre of unsavory Ward Churchill online critics. What they are writing is hardly interesting but their unceasing doggedness, repeating only ad hominem attacks, leads one to wonder who they are and what horse do they have, in not only this race, but in Churchill’s ongoing activism. These are the same voices which heckled the DNC organizers, AIM, and the contra-Columbus actions.

It’s a little circle of shit-knitters, who cross-link or repost each other’s comments from Blogspot blogs Drunkablog, Slapstick Politics, People’s Press Collective, and riding point on the Churchill Trial, Pirate Ballerina. These are Little Green Football variety ditto-heads, and I hardly mean to draw attention to them, but their relentless character assassination seems to wag the local media dogs, and one might as well look into that.

Meaning, more in a bit.

Churchill amused the courtroom audience by illustrating his sarcastic use of quotation marks, as one might refer to the Rocky Mountain News as a “newspaper.”

It’s not enough to conclude Professor Churchill has enemies. There are Native American casino owners who might be threatened by Churchill’s revisiting of the past, there are rivals for Churchill’s influence in the American Indian Movement. Obviously there are historians eager to retread what they’ve invested in the Master Narrative. Curiously, there are Zionists who are vehemently opposed to the discussion Churchill wants to provoke. And I suppose there are stupid white males who will stand for no diminishment of God Blessed America.

These bloggers are the latter “Right Wing” variety obviously, and bring nothing to the table but personal attacks. But what sustains them, tasked as they appear to be, to hound Ward Churchill on a daily basis, year after year?

There are players both on the national scene, and locally, who I consider complete bastards who merit every rebuke possible, but that doesn’t mean I dedicate my every utterance when they so much as visit the bathroom.

Truth Wanted: IDF military intelligence propagandists need not apply

Soldiers Media CenterWell, engaging the Israeli Internet Megaphone was an interesting experiment, although the popular consensus interjected the qualifier “hardly.” Now smeared across the NMT comment record is the indelible impression of what an industrial strength, defense department white-wash program can do to an open blog forum. It’s particularly distinct at NMT because we don’t have the red-neck yahoos which usually camouflage the disinformation agents. Well, we’ve documented the propaganda mechanism, it’s provided the scat samples, now it’s time to close the study.

Much as we’re plenty eager to take on the front line soldiers working PR combat, we must also realize our limitations. Their eloquence may be invitingly mud-hued, but they’ve got a machine gun to our dueling sword.

In every war, of chief concern to aggressors is the strategy to dominate what’s being said about them, from propaganda leaflets to postal censors to intelligence departments directing the press. It should be no surprise that the blogosphere would be of intense interest to them. It’s become cliche to say it, but in war “the first casualty is the truth.” Whereas journalism is always misperceived as representing the truth, blogs are truth’s living, breathing aspirants. Up against mercenary contractor liars, truth-adherents will asphyxiate.

Here’s what we’re going to do. When we detect comment coming from a documented military intelligence source, it’s gone. Well, replaced with a link to this post. That way Not My Tribe can still bear witness to the frequency of the onslaught. And if we’re then hit with denial-of-service attacks, we’ll serve as a record of those too. Freedom of speech on the internet is not going down without a fight.

And so we bid the truth-assassins adieu, and thanks for the fish. You’ve helped us demonstrate how it’s done, who’s doing it, and to what lethal extreme. Israel is not the only military maneuvering online. China and the US have legions working sabotage and censorship. NMT represents only the blogosphere arena, and only an English-language sampling. No doubt whichever governments commit atrocities, they have military advisers tell them the job isn’t done until public discussion is controlled.

But you’ve given us a ray of hope too. No matter what the budget, I don’t care if you’re paid $1000/hr, your voice will never resonate above the intellect of a dullard. As universities know, brains don’t come cheap, and the best are free. Thank goodness. Your voice may be loud and brash, but nothing which will get traction with thinking folk.

Daily KOS and the radical status que?

KOS taking on the systemDoes the DAILY KOS strike you as a little too big for their britches? But that’s not a new observation. Maybe it’s voiced out of envy, maybe the criticism is just frustration with Markos Moulitsas’ eagerness to play gatekeeper. I’ll only assert it’s the iPeter Principle. So, aren’t you just too curious about what’s inside KOS: Taking On the System. The subtitle?! Rules for Radical Change in a Digital Era.

The KOSogshere needn’t have invented the internet, but we can give them credit for helping elect Barack Obama. Fair enough. But now not a cable news hour goes by without Obama’s agenda looking less and less like change, and certainly nothing remotely approaching radical.

By my calculation, every hour since the inauguration KOS has lost footing to be able to instruct aspiring reformers about how to do anything. I love it. I want to write about how to finish a book, and leave off mention on the cover that the last quarter of the book is blank.

KOS has been throttling every grassroots effort of the left, and now they’re claiming the compliant corporate feel-good left-enough as the radical path. Not that I would assert any standard for radical-enough. But it’s not centrism, it’s not appointing Republicans into your cabinet, it’s not doing the bankers’ bidding, it’s not lengthening wars you were sent to truncate, and it’s not incarcerating innocent detainees a moment longer.

KOS, like Obama, has taken the American public’s moral outrage, and given it the finger. And KOS wants to sell us a book about where to stick that finger and call it change.

Customizing a WordPress installation

WordpressWant to make some adjustments to your WordPress blog? I always have trouble unearthing the variable names to plug into the code. To the WordPress developers’ credit, WP variables are usually self-explanatory, but that still requires an explanation. Here are some tweaks we’ve added to our Tallgrass theme:

Comment Author IP
You might want to display a commenter’s IP directly in the comments, if you need to discourage rampant aliases. The variable for the IP recorded for each comment is comment_author_IP. In admin mode on your site, simply go to EDIT THEME and pull up the [comments.php] page. Insert the code below in the comment loop, where you want the IP shown. We put it after the comment author.

<?php comment_author_IP(); ?>

Listing the post author for each individual post

Appending a Google News friendly numeric serial to the post slug

More customizations to follow.

DNC bloggers mostly kapos and lapdogs

Not My Tribe had no interest in applying for press credentials at the DNC. Likewise, our ranks are rife with intentions to protest, disrupt and agitate by whatever means OUTSIDE. But that will not stop us from criticizing the lopsided selection of bloggers which the Democratic Party has credentialed to cover the convention. While the DNC blogger pool might have represented –and broadcast to– the blogosphere, instead it will represent only an internet PR wing, comprised of fans, lapdogs, kapos and gatekeepers. Where are the objective voices, already lacking in the corporate print and television media?

I’ll sort the DNC credentialed blogs by whether they are DEM FAN SITES, single note PROBAMA, or CENTRIST-LEFT LAPDOGS. I’ll also note the MINORITY PANDERERS and those blogs selected to represent specific geographical constituents.

I’ll also list any veritable OBJECTIVE AND PROGRESSIVE websites, although their objectivity may have succumbed to election fever delirium.

It is apparent a number of respected voices are already missing. Bummer. This appears to be a page out of the Republican play book. Too bad the Dems don’t want to appeal to a smarter demographic.

I would never have urged the DNC to invite bonehead conservative bloggers, but steering clear of objective critical analysis is just too telling.

(NOTE TO BLOGGERS: If you feel your site has been unfairly typecast, prove it.)

DEMOCRAT FANSITES
43rd State Blues -ID
Badlands Blue -SD
Blue Hamshire -NH
Blue Indiana -IN
Blue Jersey
Blue Mass. Group -MA
BueGrassRoots -KY
BlueNC -NC
BlueOregon -OR
Burnt Orange Report -TX
Celtic Diva’s Blue Oasis
Crack the Bell -SC
Culture Kitchen
Daily Kingfish -LA
DCist -DC
Democracy for New Mexico -NM
Democratic Party of the U.S. Virgin Islands -USVI
Democrats Abroad Argentina -XPAT
DemoOkie -OK
Everyday Citizen -KA
Fired Up! Missouri -MO
Florida Progressive Coalition -FL
Green Mountain Daily -VE
Horses Ass -WA
Hummingbird Minds Blog -WY
Ian Lind Online -HA
The Iowa Independent -IO
Jusifer -PR
Keystone Politics -PN
KnoxViews -TN
Las Vegas Gleaner -NV
Left in the West -MT
Minnesota Monitor -MN
My Left Nutmeg -CN
New Nebraska Network -NE
No Rest for the Awake -GUAM
North Decoder -ND
Ohio Daily Blog -OH
PolitikerNJ -NJ
Prairie State Blue -IL
Raising Kaine -VA
Rhode Island ‘s Future -RI
Room 8 -NY
Rum, Romanism and Rebellion -AZ
Square State -CO
Think Youth -(Hillary)
Tondee’s Tavern -GA
Turn Maine Blue -ME
Under the Dome -AK
Uppity Wisconsin -WI
West Virginia Blue -WV

PROBAMA
Bitch Ph.D.
Celtic Diva’s Blue Oasis
Cotton Mouth Blog
Dallas South
The UpTake
Utah Amicus -UT
What About Our Daughters?
Working Life – Jonathan Tasini
Zennie’s Zeitgeist

LEFT LAPDOGS
America Blog
Calitics -CA
Campus Progress
Center for Emerging Media -MD
Daily KOS
Democratic Underground
Doc’s Political Parlor -AL
Double Speak
Eschaton
Everyday Citizen
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh

MINORITY INTEREST
African American Political Pundit
Asian American Action Fund
Beliefnet -CHRISTIAN
Blogher -WOMEN
Change to Win -LABOR
Disaboom -DISABLED
Thought Theater -Daniel DiRito -LGBT
Towelroad -LGBT
USAmerica Vota08 -HISP
Vivirlatino -HISP

OBJECTIVE PROGRESSIVES!
AFL-CIO NOW Blog
BAGnews Notes
Blogger News Network
Blogging For Michigan -MI
Buckeye State Blog
The Colorado Independent
Crooks and Liars
Democracy Arsenal
Hullabaloo -Digby
The Albany Project
The Seminal
Tommywonk -Tom Noyes -DE
Uppity Wisconsin
Washington Independent

The You Make My Day Award chain letter

You Make My Day AwardSo begins each post: “My friend so-and-so surprised me with a You Make My Day Award. Thank you! (You should really check out their wonderful blog!) I’m to post this with the following proviso,” etc, etc.

Nothing wrong with a little guerrilla marketing, in this case lighting a back fire up the social network where blogroll links and reciprocal courtesy comments were just not keeping everyone’s interest. Internet blogging has set into motion a real-time one hundred monkeys experiment, but of course someone has to address the task of monitoring the output. We won’t know if even a blogosphere of monkeys typing away can produce Shakespeare unless somebody is diligently evaluating the gibberish.

It didn’t take long tracing the roots of the You-Make-My-Day-Award givers to find someone who explained the rules as: “You have to pass this on to ten people” etc. And there it is. The YMMDA is a chain letter. And like so many viral emails, its driving force is a smile over coffee, pass it on.

Chain emails, whether they promise warm and fuzzies or anticipation that Bill Gates will personally pay you a quarter of a million dollars, are disseminated to chart social networks, yours. They plot connections between people, particularly the veracity of those connections measured by the speed and frequency with which you give your friends priority. Such information is valuable to anyone wanting a bead on you. Use your imagination.

So the You-Make-My-Day-Award is netting bloggers, internet users who may have moved on from circulating those clever email chain letters. I’m perhaps most disappointed that people using their blogs as creative outlets, can’t be creative enough to praise each other on their own initiative. They have to borrow a concept, a graphic and a blurb, and admonish each other to keep it up. These monkeys are getting tired.

COS PROG BLOGS

PROGRESSIVE BLOGGERS OF COLORADO SPRINGS:
 
CS Action -Mark Lewis
eHippy
Girls Gone Apeshit .com (gone)
Justice & Peace Now -TA
Keys To Island Cabin
Meta Critical
Newspeak -Aaron Retka
Non-Prophet
Not My Tribe -Brother Jonah, Tony Logan, Eric Verlo, Marie Walden
Point Of Few
Sue Sun 40 -Sue Spengler
Thomas Mc -Thomas McCullock

OTHER LOCAL BLOGGERS:

Atomic Elroy’s Trinity Project
Jeff Caylor
Darksandal
Dollar Blog
Eucharisto
Freethinkers of Colorado Springs
Friar Tuck’s Fleeting Thoughts
girl and geek
Just Another Pretentious Fuck
Keys To Island Cabin
The Manitou Mule
Thomas Mc
The Mondys
Phil Mondy
Movable Nu
Natural Inferior
The Ready Room
Red Wolf Crossing
The roBlog
Standard Deviation
The Taste Like Chicken Blog
Threshing Machine
Toilet Paper Blog
Vodkapundit & The Weblog of Tomorrow
WaitressBlog
Where the Rain Gets In
The Window Facing the Street