Tag Archives: Twitter

50 Shades of Conservative

With the recent popularity of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey, the world of BDSM has been thrust into the mainstream. There is a twisted sort of irony to this, since this lifestyle – perhaps more importantly, some of the portions of the information about it online – have been either under fire, or used as ammunition in assorted arguments among conservatives on Twitter. For the record, this is a distraction, like just about anything else that causes conservatives in general to fight among themselves.

Mikamatto (CC)

However, I thought it might not be a bad idea to take this opportunity to point out a few interesting facts about BDSM that were apparently either skipped entirely, or at least misrepresented in the novel. First, I’d like to start with something obvious – yes, there are conservatives out there that engage in some form of BDSM, whether it involves inflicting pain, or simply involves a dominant and submissive relationship dynamic (D/s). Come on now folks! Let’s start using those little gray cells, shall we? There are some out there that would argue that many “traditional” marriages are really just committed D/s relationships, with one being generally dominated by the other. It’s logical, if you really think about it. If both are dominant, logic says they’ll constantly battle each other for supremacy. On the other end, neither one wants to take charge, so they can easily end up being undecided about the simplest of things. Now, if one is relatively dominant, and the other relatively submissive, that lends itself to a much more harmonious existence. Add a few sex toys to the bedroom, and that’s a recipe for a kinky relationship.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Now, onto the little things that bothered me about that lovely little book. First of all, anyone that decides to get into a master and slave contract with someone without knowing them for quite some time beforehand is downright insane. And no, I’m not buying that a virgin would jump into that lifestyle from the beginning either. But, the biggest fallacy is that the dominant is completely in control. The author made a valiant effort to show the dynamic accurately, but missed the target by failing to stress that the submissive is actually the one in control. Assuming that it is a safe, sane and consensual relationship in the first place, the dominant cannot do anything without the prior permission of the submissive. The dominant only has power because it is given by the submissive. That message needed to be repeated, and often. It’s irresponsible not to do that in this sort of writing, since it could (and did) have a wide general appeal. I’m not even going to get into the little details that just don’t ring true.

In case you didn’t guess it yet, I’m not writing this from a theoretical point of view. This is a “been there, and done that” for me, and no, I am not answering on whether or not it’s only in my past – my personal life, my marriage, my choices, my business. But, I will say a little bit more about my past. I’ve known several politically conservative couples over the years that consider themselves members of the BDSM community. Honestly, the majority of the couples I knew with dominant men paired with submissive women were conservatives. That is my personal experience, so it is anecdotal at best. But, that doesn’t make it meaningless either. And, my personal introduction to at least part of this world was with two men (not at the same time, of course!) that were conservative.

My primary point is that what people do in their bedrooms used to be at least relatively sacred, as in others respected their privacy. And any intimate matters used to be off limits. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Sometimes it takes the form of people wanting government to help them “save people’s souls” from sin. If anyone doesn’t know my lack of concern for those non-issues by now, they haven’t been paying attention. But what really disturbs me is what appears to be a rampant disease of trying to dig up dirt on other conservatives – out the skeletons in their closets, or otherwise ridicule them. In case you can’t guess, I have nothing but contempt for people that do that sort of thing. That’s saying something, since there was a time when I wasn’t above yanking skeletons from the closets of politicians.

So, here it is – conservatives can be kinky. There is no law against it. There is nothing to be ashamed of if one chooses to do something off the wall in the bedroom, as long as it’s “safe, sane and consensual.” And there is nothing wrong with conservative adults enjoying or creating visual or literary arts that depict those kinky activities. I understand that there are many conservatives that find this sort of thing offensive, and that’s obviously fine as well. It is not fine for conservatives to force each other to view, read about, or participate in kinky sex. That said, like it or not, this is one thing the Libertarians got right – the intimate relationships of life are not meant for public or governmental interference. That’s why we call them “intimate.”

*Special thanks to Kurt Schlichter for being his #caring self, and coming up with the title for this post!

Twitter Politics for the Innocent, the Eager and the Damned

When anyone joins Twitter, they are gently lead into the Twitterverse by seemingly simple instructions on the main website. If those people are joining to participate in political discussions, that is quickly followed by a dramatic leap into chaos. And if they happen to be conservatives, they will likely get pulled along into the various existing Twitter-rivalries and nonsense. Maybe they’ll ride it out, and stick around for the long haul – maybe not. Twitter does a good job explaining the mechanics of tweeting – this is about the social side.

eldh (CC)

The following are a few suggestions for new folks (and veterans that are getting weary of the craziness):

1. Trust your instincts – Twitter is a quick ride, and can get heated. If you want to engage in arguments with people for sport, so be it. You will find no shortage of folks that enjoy doing the same. However, if you don’t want that, go with your gut, nothing else. It doesn’t matter if the user that’s offending you, (or even scaring you) has 10 followers or a million. It’s your choice what you read, who you follow, and what content you want to see on Twitter.

2. It’s Just Twitter – If you find yourself thinking that what you see on Twitter is “life”, it’s probably time to step back for a while. There are many users in the political realm that seem to literally live on Twitter. Some do, but the vast majority are probably taking advantage of one or more means of auto-tweeting to get their messages out. There are also many “pros” out there – journalists, writers, bloggers, politicians, political consultants, etc. Usually they act professionally on Twitter, but sometimes they don’t. Again, go with your gut, and your brain on this one. If they’re giving you links or other content that is actually useful to you, re-tweet, and even try to engage with them. But don’t take it personally if they don’t respond. They might not actually be online, might have many followers, or just plain be busy. Yes, there are some that don’t respond because they only interact directly with a select few. But, if they’re giving you good information, that’s no reason to stop following them. Just think twice about whether or not you want to take the time to try to engage with them.

3. Help! They’re Coming to Get Me! – Like anything else in life, Twitter has its dark side. There are people out there that find it necessary to threaten people in 140 characters or less. They also might call others names, threaten to get everyone to stop following them, and many other crazy things. Sometimes they’ll act like they are super-hackers that can get every bit of personal information they want about anyone. Unfortunately, many times these users will have many followers, and will enlist some of them to assist in bullying others. Again, like from the beginning here, go with your gut. If you feel that they are an honest threat to you (maybe they managed to figure out something about you that you didn’t share in your bio, or anywhere else online), by all means, block them. It may seem counter-productive, since these people usually wear being blocked by almost anyone as a badge of honor. That’s fine. Let them. However, before you block them, do make copies of the offending posts, and if nothing else, paste them into a text file. Once you’ve done that, use “block”, not “block and report spam”. You may choose to contact Twitter with your concerns, and if you are truly afraid that someone online is going to hunt you down offline, you should contact local authorities. (Do not do that, unless you are certain that the individual is actually capable of tracking you down.)

Admittedly, the previous advice is not for those that are sporting for a fight, at least not until they get in deeper than they intended. However, it is sound advice from someone that has been rattling around the political world of Twitter for about four years now. It’s not about doing it right. It’s about getting what you want out of Twitter. There are no “laws”, contrary to what anyone might say. Sure, it’s nice to think about having thousands of followers, but the reality is that unless you’re a corporation or public figure looking to broadcast your message to the masses, less is more. Quality wins every time over quantity, if you’re looking for real interactions with others. Pay attention to posts from folks you like, and see who they interact with most. Build who you follow slowly, and don’t feel guilty about unfollowing folks if they start to annoy you, or no longer post anything that interests you. It is your Twitter, not anyone else’s, when it comes to determining who to follow and attempt to interact with. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

My Twitter Follow Policy

In recent months, I’ve learned that if you don’t provide people with information, they’ll try to guess the answers on their own.  They won’t contact you and ask for you to fill the blanks in; they’ll just make assumptions and then act on them.  In light of that, I’ve decided to go ahead and post my “official Twitter follow policy” here and then link to it in my Twitter Bio.  Maybe this will help clear up some misunderstandings.

First off…
WILL YOU  (@AiPolitics)  FOLLOW ME?
The short answer to this question is “yes”.
As long as you interact with me and you aren’t flat out disrespectful, I will follow you.  We don’t even have to agree with each other.  We can have polar opposite opinions (and share them), and I will still follow you.  All that I ask is that you interact (bc why would I follow someone with whom I have no dialogue?) and that you are not flagrantly disrespectful toward me.  The occasional kerfuffle is fine.  Name calling, generally, is not.


While I do follow almost anyone who’d like to conduct dialogue, I do not automatically follow people back just because they follow me.  I used to do that, and I ended up with a cluttered Twitter stream of people I couldn’t even recognize, and even worse, spam bots.  Try introducing yourself or inserting yourself into my conversations.  Once I realize you’re here for dialogue, I’ll generally follow you back.

No.  I honestly don’t pay attention to it anymore.  If six million people wanted to discuss topics that interest me, I would follow six million people.  Interaction is almost always the deciding factor in whether or not I follow you.

Sometimes I simply do not have a “good” response, so I say nothing.  Sometimes your tweet did not appear in my “mentions” column, and I did not even know you had spoken to me.  And sometimes I think you’re “trolling” me or using a straw man argument.  I don’t mind disagreeing, but if I think you’re picking a fight just to see if you can “get my goat”, I’ll choose not to respond.  If you’re genuinely here for dialogue (and not just arguing), I will pick that up after you make a few attempts at talking with me.  Be persistent.  And if I don’t “ever” respond and you feel slighted, then let me know.  It may or may not be intentional, but I’ll usually talk it out with you.

As I said before, when you don’t provide people with information, they often decide to just make assumptions and run with them.  Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more people broadcast their assumptions as if they were fact.  ie…
“@AiPolitics didn’t follow me back, because I didn’t agree with him.”
“@AiPolitics didn’t follow me back, because he’s trying to pad his follower-to-following ratio.”
“@AiPolitics didn’t follow me, because he’s jealous that I have more followers than he does.”

The last one is one of my favorites….  The new assumption on Twitter is that if you disagree with someone who has more followers, then you must “obviously” be envious.  This makes about as much sense as when Democrats say that if you disagree with President Obama, you must “obviously” be a racist, but otherwise intelligent people on Twitter still make this assertion.


Hopefully this post clears up a lot of misconceptions I’ve been running into lately.  If it doesn’t, feel free to tweet me with questions you may have.  Also, feel free to add some of your own Twitter follow policies in the comments below.  Maybe we can all clear up the misunderstandings that have been seen on Twitter lately.  (many of them can be avoided if people will simply ASK instead of ASSUMING)


The author of this post, Ai Politics, can be tweeted under the handle @AiPolitics at Twitter.com.

Obama Campaign Orders Reporters to Limit Bidenism Tweets

The Obama campaign is seeking to mitigate the damage that human gaffe machine Joe Biden can do in an increasingly tight election. The Vice President has demanded that reporters in all press conferences and conference calls embargo their tweets until the session has ended and the campaign has had a chance to respond to questions.

Why would the Obama campaign request reporters can their Bidenisms?

Oh, this.

In a presidential campaign that has Obama reeling from his “you didn’t build that” disaster, the last thing Obama needs is Gaffemaster J coming out and trying to fix it.

What It Means To Be A Top Conservative On Twitter

Before getting into the whole Twitter thing, I think it would be best to bring up a little personal history here. Some people that know me online also know that I spent about a quarter of a century working for several political campaigns in various capacities. Even fewer know that I worked a couple Democrat campaigns (because the candidates in question were family friends), and that for about 11 years, I was registered as a Democrat. My father said that he would not have a daughter in the GOP as long as he still had a pulse, so in spite of the fact that I was a charter member of the now defunct Young Republicans chapter in my county, I respected my father’s wishes. I switched my registration shortly after his death. I live in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so in spite of the fact that I am generally a Libertarian, I am registered to vote as a Republican. Otherwise, I would have no voice in primaries.

Recently, the tenor of communications on Twitter among conservatives have started to remind me of a particularly nasty Democrat campaign that I worked in the mid-90’s. The contest was over a State House seat that was vacated by the incumbent moving up to the State Senate. He did not endorse a replacement, so the primary was fairly bloody. I got pulled in for the general election, but apparently some people didn’t remember that the primary was over. One of the losing candidates ran a smear campaign against the candidate his own party endorsed in the spring primaries. Apparently he thought it was better for the Republican to get that seat, if he couldn’t have it. It amused me, and I was heartily tempted to let it go, especially since the campaign manager and other consultants were ready and willing to ignore it. But, when I ended up receiving over ten calls from voters in the space of just a couple hours about someone running a counter-campaign against the candidate, I decided to act. I sent a couple volunteers that looked fairly intimidating to the neighborhoods that were targeted, and told them to get the people off the streets. That night, I got a threatening call at my home, and the next day, my mother ended up witnessing a volunteer getting beaten in the office over campaign signs. Within 48 hours, with the help of law enforcement, I put a stop to the nonsense, only to end up facing it all over again from the opposition, as opposed to in-party malcontents. I quit working campaigns altogether for a while after that one.

And now, here I am watching people on Twitter claiming to be conservatives, smearing each other, throwing about accusations that one or another is a RINO, or even a flat-out leftist operative hiding in plain sight. This is not new, of course. I caught hell right away in the wonderful world of conservatism online at RedState, what seems ages ago now. Why? Because I’m a Libertarian and arguably a severe fiscal conservative, I had no use for the social conservative agenda proliferated on that site. Throw in that I’m an atheist, and it’s no wonder that I’m considered a pariah by the religious right. But that’s just fine. I’m not here to make them happy, and I refuse to change just for them. However, there are a couple things they can count on from me.

First, even if it’s someone that has made my blood boil, if I see a conservative attacked by a liberal on Twitter, I will step up and defend that person. There are exceptions to that, but only for those that I know damn well can manage to defend themselves quite easily on their own.

Second, I will not make value judgments about conservatives online in general, but particularly on Twitter. That means that I don’t care if I disagree with someone on just about every issue out there (yes, this is possible, especially where social conservatives are concerned). I will not claim that individual is not a true conservative. They might very well accuse me of not being a true conservative, but I won’t return that statement.

So, what makes a conservative on Twitter? As far as I’m concerned, a conservative is anyone that intends to vote against Obama in November. I would prefer that those votes go to Romney, simply because he has the best chance to win out of the conservatives that will actually be on the ballot. However, my fellow Libertarians that choose not to vote Republican are conservatives also. In case anyone missed it, we’re in the middle of a political war with the left, and if we want to see an end to this administration, we need to stop screwing around and unite.

This is only the first time that I am going to write on this, and in the future, I will probably put a spotlight on the worst offenders – the Twitter bullies with large numbers of followers that try to coerce people into unfollowing or harassing others, the petty argument starters, those that choose to spread libelous or private statements everywhere, and even those that run about willy-nilly calling others RINOs. Now, if RINO is being tossed at a conservative claiming that they’re going to vote for Obama, I’ll be calling that one a RINO too!

What I’m saying is that it is high time that conservatives on Twitter relearn a very basic word: RESPECT. Like I said from the beginning here, I’ve worked Dem campaigns in the past. Divide and conquer is on page one of their playbook, as it should be in ours. Unfortunately, we seem to be dividing and conquering ourselves, instead of the leftists. That needs to stop, NOW.

So, since hashtags are all the rage, I have one for you now. You see conservatives going after each other on Twitter, call them on it by using the hashtag #respect. This isn’t a new concept. I think everyone’s familiar with Kurt Schlichter’s ironic #caring, that he uses so eloquently to attack leftists. Well, #respect will be the one that points out when conservatives are behaving badly toward each other. It is time to stop this nonsense, and focus on November. Twitter is not the be all and end all, but it is an indicator of what is happening offline as well. If there is infighting on Twitter, it is probably going on offline, too. Personalities and egos can kill the momentum of any campaign – I’ve watched it happen, and have even helped it along. But, in this case, I am determined to put a stop to it, at least where I can. If the Romney campaign loses momentum because of all this nonsense online and offline, we only have ourselves to blame. Remember, above anything else, we must #respect all that intend to see Obama end up with only one term, period.

Obama Writes Himself Into Presidential History

Conservatives are mocking the Obama administration yet again this week due to the White House’s alteration of many presidential biographies. Beginning with Calvin Coolidge, facts about the Obama administration’s actions are linked with the actions of previous presidents through a Did You Know? section at the bottom of the webpage.

Many of the links made between Obama and previous presidents are inane and meaningless where real policy is concerned. For instance, under Herbert Hoover’s biography, the addendum mentions that Hoover signed the bill that created the Department of Veteran Affairs, and that Obama is ‘committed to serving the needs of veterans’ by modernizing health care benefits.

The Did You Know? under Calvin Coolidge’s biography notes that Coolidge was the first to make a public radio address, and somewhat lamely points out that Obama is the first president to hold virtual meetings online.

Many of the links to Democratic figureheads are the most obscure. For instance, the Did You Know? section under FDR’s biography notes that FDR signed the Social Security Act, noting that Obama is working to ensure Social Security will be there to protect future generations.

Obama’s link to JFK is his celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, which JFK helped create.

LBJ is noted for having signed Medicare into law, which the White House claims Obama strengthened by signing Obamacare into law.

Gerald Ford’s biography has not been altered so far.

But perhaps the most outrageous claim, is Obama’s supposed link to Ronald Reagan. The Did You Know? under Reagan’s biography reads:

In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.

In Reagan’s speech, no mention of secretaries is mentioned. Reagan mentioned that a bus driver shouldn’t pay more in taxes than a millionaire. Of course, he was strictly talking about income tax, not comparing capitol gains rates to income tax rates. In fact in the same speech, Reagan advocated against raising taxes and instead closing loopholes and cutting taxes across the board.

Also noted- Reagan declared Martin Luther King Day a national holiday, which the first and second families celebrate by participating in service projects.

Michelle Obama is also mentioned for her Let’s Move initiative to ‘promote healthier lifestyles’. This is mentioned in conjunction with President Eisenhower’s Council on Youth Fitness.

The Obama adminstration’s attempt to insert itself into every moment of American history has spawned a Twitter hashtag, #ObamaInHistory, which is being used to mock the biographical alterations.

A few examples:

@JohnSantorelli: Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492 and Obama was there to apologize and bow to the natives. #ObamaInHistory

@EthanMyers007: 30,000 Americans died on the Oregon Trail due to lack of health insurance. #ObamaInHistory

 The widest criticism of the biographical alteration is drawn from a speech Michelle Obama gave during the 2008 campaign. She mentioned that Barack knew they were going to have to rewrite history- and to many, it appears that this is exactly what Obama is doing. For more, go to whitehouse.gov/presidents.

#Resist44: the Conservative Alternative to #Gen44

There’s a new hashtag brewing on Twitter these days and it’s creating a lot of buzz.

#Resist44 popped up on Twitter a few nights ago and so far hundreds of posts with the hashtag are showing up in timelines.  The movement of younger voters ages 18 – 40 (though one post says 18 – 30) aims to motivate and mobilize young conservatives who may feel they aren’t an accurately represented voter base.

One post reads, “Sick of the indoctrination methods of our Occupier in Chief? Young and motivated? Join #Resist44 the counter movement to #Gen44″

President Obama’s reelection team started the #Gen44 hashtag earlier this year.

” …we created Generation Forty Four or Gen44 for short—a council to cultivate and empower a rising generation of leaders in the Democratic Party. Gen44 will work with this groundbreaking group, all under the age of 40, to serve as a platform for political mobilization…”

Ironically for a campaign team that thrived on social media in the 2008 campaign, the Obama reelection campaign is struggling this time around.  #Gen44 was usurped almost immediately after its Twitter introduction by conservatives using the hashtag to post snarky and sarcastic comments about young Obama voters and the administration itself.

Several other hashtag attempts have failed for the Obama campaign like #TruthTeam, #AttackWatch and #ILikeObamacare.

#Resist44 is short for Resistance 44, which has a private social media group and a small army of activists with big plans for the future. Claiming to have truth on their side, Resistance 44 promises to counter the attacks and lies of the “Obama Zombies” as the election draws closer.

“Resistance 44 has been created to draw a stark contrast between those young misguided minds campaigning for Obama and young minds that value freedom, liberty and American Exceptionalism.  We are unapologetic freedom loving activists who see Obama as a threat to freedom…” – Resistance 44


The only thing George Zimmerman didn’t do is play lacrosse.

Vultures fly in to feast on the carcass of Trayvon Martin

Neighborhood Watch celebrity George Zimmerman graduated from a high school not too far from where I live in Virginia. I certainly hope he made it to the 10–year reunion of the Osbourn Park Class of 2001, because it doesn’t look like he’s going to be attending many in the future.

Not that Zimmerman is necessarily guilty of anything, but after one has been processed by the MSM’s reputation shredder, the thought of appearing in public and defending yourself for the umpteenth time is not appealing.

Particularly when the President joins the race–baiters and says, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Well, Mr. President, if your mother had married a Mexican instead of a Kenyan you would have looked like George. So what?

If only Zimmerman — a Spanish speaker registered as a Democrat — had been marching in a La Raza protest or a Mexicans Without Borders demonstration. Then national Democrats, including the President, would be happy to claim him as their own. But when George made the mistake of getting a concealed carry permit and dabbled on the fringes of law enforcement, Zimmerman became a “white Hispanic” member of the conspiracy designed to keep the black man down.

Why couldn’t Zimmerman have been like those progressive employees at the Apple store in Bethesda, MD. When they heard a woman screaming in the yoga store next door, they had the decency to mind their own dang business. You didn’t see them barging in on what might have been a private matter. They didn’t even tie up valuable public resources by calling 9–1–1.

Wait, maybe that’s a bad example. Jayna Murray died after being stabbed 330 times.

In Zimmerman’s case, there actually was crime in the area he volunteered to patrol. Police records show there were eight burglaries, nine thefts and one shooting in the prior year. Cynthia Wibker, secretary of the homeowner’s association, observed, “He once caught a thief and an arrest was made. (Zimmerman) helped solve a lot of crimes.”

A rule of thumb to remember in these “white Hispanic” vs. black controversies is the first lawyer to get in front of a TV camera is lying. Benjamin Crump and Natalie Jackson, the Martin legal brain trust, prove my point.

Begin with the photo of an angelic Trayvon wearing a red shirt. It’s a great picture, but he was 14 when it was taken. Trayvon was 17 when he was shot, almost 6’ 3” tall and weighed about 150 lbs. He also boasted tattoos, a gold mouth grill and went by the Twitter ID of “@NO_LIMIT_NIGGA.”

Martin was in the neighborhood visiting his father because he was serving his third suspension from high school. This time for possession of a marijuana pipe and an empty baggie with traces of drugs. In October, Martin had been found with 12 pieces of women’s jewelry and a “burglary tool,” but was suspended for a graffiti offense.

Once this information came to light, Martin’s mother complained, “They killed my son and now their trying to kill his reputation.” Which means it’s okay to demonize Zimmerman, but Trayvon should remain beyond reproach.

In lie number two, Crump declares, “We have to maintain over and over and over again that Zimmerman is the aggressor.”

George may have been an annoying busy–body, but he was not the aggressor. Zimmerman left his SUV to follow Martin on foot, but lost sight of him. George had turned around and was walking back to his vehicle when Trayvon sucker–punched him, breaking his nose and knocking him down. Martin jumped on top of Zimmerman and began smashing his head into the sidewalk.

During the assault there was a struggle over the gun holstered at Zimmerman’s waist and Martin was shot and killed.

This brings us to lies three and four. Jackson says, “You hear a shot, a clear shot then you hear a 17-year-old boy begging for his life then you hear a second shot.” There was only one round fired and Martin wasn’t yelling for help either. He was too busy slamming Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk, which produced a cut requiring stitches.

The person yelling for help was George.

Although the Martin legal team has proven they are quite capable of prevaricating on their own, they get help from the media. Early stories claimed the dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. What he actually said was, “Okay, we don’t need you to do that.” This is not a command and barely qualifies as a suggestion, but that’s not how the story was covered.

Zimmerman, like the Duke lacrosse players, now has the media baying for his blood and as a result a majority of the public believes he should be arrested. But none of that changes the fact that if Trayvon Martin hadn’t punched George Zimmerman in the nose, he’d be alive today.

The “Tolerant” Left Tweets About President George W. Bush

Last night, a curious thing happened.  Our 43rd president was the number one trending topic on Twitter (globally), and I wondered why.  I mean, he has been out of office for over three years, and he hasn’t released a book (not lately, anyway).  He hadn’t been on television (to my knowledge).  So how could we have the entire world tweet about President George W. Bush in the middle of the night, no less?  Well, it turns out that this tweet sparked it:

Okay.  Fair enough, a tweet claiming that the former president was once a cheerleader doesn’t sound so bad.  I’m sure the other tweeters would just snicker at it and move a long, right?  Watch the following video to find out.

Twensored? – #TwitterBlackout Tomorrow In Support Of Free Speech


Including CDN’s own TJ Thompson (@_TJThompson) , Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl), and Rich Mitchell (@CDNnow)

Twitter has been the backbone of revolutions, regime change, and much more.  The ability to spread information around the world in an instant has changed the way people disseminate vital information.  The free flow of this information, and the ability to “Retweet” it, literally puts the world in the palm of our hands.  To put it simply: Twitter has changed the world.

Now, it appears that the world has changed Twitter.  Twitter announced Thursday that it can now block tweets, as well as individual accounts, from appearing to users in specific countries, and that it may use the feature to comply with governments’ request to censor information. Before, Twitter could only block tweets and accounts globally.

As it said on the Twitter Blog:

As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.

Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries’ limits was to remove content globally. Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.

Are we being Twensored?


So Twitter users are banding together for a Twitter Blackout – with hashtag #TwitterBlackout – on January 28th, 2012.   This irony is that Twitter helped spread the news about the online blackouts in protest of the SOPA and PIPA legisation – and now ACTA – and now the service itself is being protested.  Stay tuned to see what impact this has on the microblogging site’s traffic, advertising, etc.

Hacker group "Anonymous" to hold internet, banks, UN hostage [Video]

Tens of millions of Americans may feel the wrath of the infamous hacker group “Anonymous” as they threaten phase one of  “Operation Global Blackout” over the recent shutdown of file sharing site MegaUpload.com.

The video states that Anonymous has gained access to servers at several banks, the U.N., Microsoft’s XBoxLive, Playstation Networ, Facebook, Twitter and more. While the video makes a short mention of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, the groups’ threat is to “black out” the above mentioned servers if their demand for the unconditional restoration of MegaUpload is not met within 72 hours.

The video was uploaded on January 19th and so far the is no movement to restore MegaUpload or that the charges will be dropped. That would indicate that today, January 22nd would be the target date or soon thereafter.

*update* – Anonymous sets attack date as January 28th and the target – Facebook.

The video gaming and social media platform interruptions will be more of an inconvenience than anything, but a banking system blackout could pose real risk to American’s financial dealings. Outages could mean everything from out-of-service ATM’s, bank tellers unable to process transaction and online banking sites being offline to an inability of banks to process normal debit/checking transactions. The exact level of access and nature of the Anonymous threat is not available in the video nor elsewhere.

While the hackers claim to have access to the banking, gaming and social network servers and the personal information of those that use it, they claim that they won’t use the information.

While directed at members of Congress, the results of the black out will affect every day users of technology – and perhaps some that weren’t aware that their lives were so dependent upon it.

Twitter reactions to the threatened attack have ranged from fear to admiration:










What do you think of the threatened attack?

[poll id=”38″]

Online Social Media Tea Party?

There is a reason I had titled this rant like I did. Back in July during the debt ceiling debacle Hugh Hewitt, a talk radio host as well as a columnist for TownHall.com, mentioned that a “Twitter Tea Party” is needed. I had tweeted a couple of things during that Tea Party, and think that another one is needed right now. Only thing is I will go one better. What we need is just as I had mentioned in the title of this blog entry, an ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA Tea Party.

As far as I know, there are 8 forms of Social Media online right now:

  1. Facebook (http://www.facebook.com)
  2. Twitter (http://www.twitter.com)
  3. Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com)
  4. LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com)
  5. Digg (http://www.digg.com)
  6. YouTube (http://www.youtube.com)
  7. any and all blogs
  8. any and all message boards

(NOTE: If there are any others I am forgetting, please let me know. Also, I realize I am missing sites like RedState, Tea Party Patriots, Tea Party Nation, and FreedomWorks and FreedomConnector as well, but I have included them in the final two forms.)

With sites like Facebook and Twitter, I would propose we find out the online pages of ALL of the political figures – whether they are local, state, or national – and post on their sites, telling them how you think they are doing and just let them know what you would like to see enacted on either a bill or some other pending legislation, as well as your thoughts on how they had voted on prior pieces of legislation. Also, Facebook and Twitter are good sites to post articles and other items to let people know what is happening not only in America but all around the world.

With sites like Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Digg, I would propose that we find articles and other items, like we did with Facebook and Twitter, and post them to our pages to let people know what is happening. This way we can get the word out and keep others up to date on what is happening.

In the event that the articles we had found are already posted to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, or Digg by others, we should like, share, Retweet, Digg, and/or even comment on them.

With YouTube, we have a choice of either uploading a video of our own opinions on certain events, uploading videos of rallies or speeches, or commenting on the videos which are already out there.

For the various blogs and message boards out there, we can employ the same methods we used above, especially sharing them on the other social media outlets. This way the same articles get multiple coverage.

Why do I say post the same articles on all forms of social media? The answer is real simple. You might have different friends on Facebook than you do on Twitter (for example) and as such your Twitter friends might not be aware of a certain issue if you had only posted it to Facebook. I use all of the above social media outlets and there are some friends who are one outlet but not on others. If you only post to one social media outlet and then tell your friends on another they might feel out of the loop if they had not read a certain article, blog entry, or anything else. That is why we should cover ALL of the social media outlets, regardless of what they are, and get the word out there.

If you are interested in a Social Media Tea Party, please let me know and hopefully we can try to work something out. My email and Instant Messengers are always open and available for discussion about this.


(Written on December 26, 2011, at http://rickbulow1974.blogspot.com/)

Why people put a period before replies in twitter

After a recent change at twitter, those who use the micro-blogging technology are changing their behavior by adding a period before any replies (@<twitter-name responses).

Why the extra punctuation – and more importantly, why waste one more precious character? Even worse.. don’t periods go at the end of the sentence?

No, it’s not some new latin language thing, like the upside-down question-marks in Spanish. It’s not Morse code and it’s not a type – it’s a work-around.

Before twitter made a recent update, @<twitter-name> would have shown up on the timeline of anyone following the person replying OR the person being replied to. This is a very important tool to those that find other people to follow based on who their friends are talking to.

Now, if you @jim replies to @kelly, only those tweeps that follow both Jim and Kelly will see it. Not very useful for finding new people to follow – is it?

Don’t panic (yes, somewhat obscure sci-fi reference was absolutely necessary), by placing any character before the @, the followers of the replier and the replyee (yup, they’re words.. or soon will be – I’m sure of it) will see the message.

That’s why many are adding punctuation at the beginning of the twitter posts – well most of us. Some might be tweeting after dark, after drinks and after just about everyone else would have stopped.

"UPDATED" Saudi Prince Invest $300 Million in Twitter

On Monday Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, along with his company Kingdom Holding Co., announced a $300 million dollar investment into microblogging website Twitter. This comes after months of negotiations and is meant to give the company a boost as they attempt to garner more advertising. At this time it is not clear how much of Twitter the Prince will control. AOL, Apple Inc., MCI Inc., Motorola, Fox News and various other technology and media companies are among Alwaleed bin Talal’s other investments

Matt Graves, Twitter spokesman, confirmed the investment but could not provide further details.

This comes as Twitter has released a series of updates trying to make the site more appealing and easier to navigate. It also aims to allow more detailed information about corporate brands as they try to convert more companies into advertisers. Earlier this year Twitter raised $400 million from other investors. In September CEO Dick Costolo said the investments would allow the company to control its own destiny and avoid, at this time, having to take to company public.


From a Middle East Online report:

“Al-Walid also criticised US media which he described as “in general … pro-Israel.” But he also accused Arabs of not being pro-active in fighting the allegedly slanted media.

He said that during last month’s street protests in France, the US television network Fox — owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in which Al-Walid himself has shares — ran a banner saying: “Muslim riots.”

“I picked up the phone and called Murdoch… (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty,” he said.

“Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots.”



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