Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Independent Blogging Lives On, but not at KELO

Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm
By: RadioActive Chief
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KELO, in their infinite wisdom has decided that they have different fish to fry, than to continue with their issues blog platform.

Whether this strikes you, the reader as being good, bad, or indifferent, the site is theirs to do with what they will, and such is life, and if not being able to “compete” with a “newly formatted video player” indicates where KELO’s priorities lie, then so be it.   Hmmmm.  KELO is a television outlet after all…so on the face of there is some logic from their point of view.

I thought about commenting on the somewhat sour note from  Dr. Newquist, but decided to pass on the opportunity to inflict further heartburn on him.  I trust he, and the rest of us will still be out there in the blogosphere, and you can follow us there and give us your kudos or brickbats via comments, as you see fit.

My continuing blog hangout is at  RadioActive Chief.  By the way…the site name has nothing to do with glowing in the dark from some nuclear process.  It’s derived from being a retired Navy Chief Radioman, as well as as active radio amateur (KCØAM), and participant in the Navy-Marine Corps Military Auxiliary Radio System….hence a Chief who is radio active.

See you elsewhere on the blogosphere!

Tempest in a Teabag: from B.O. to the Shores of Lake Herman

Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 8:10 pm
By: RadioActive Chief
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NOTE: Graphic content follows.

President Obama: GOP Opposition to Stimulus ‘Helped to Create the Tea-Baggers’

Three days after he decried the lack of civility in American politics, President Obama is quoted in a new book about his presidency referring to the Tea Party movement using a derogatory term with sexual connotations.

In Jonathan Alter’s “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” President Obama is quoted in an November 30, 2009, interview saying that the unanimous vote of House Republicans vote against the stimulus bills “set the tenor for the whole year … That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.”

Tea Party activists loathe the term “tea baggers,” which has emerged in liberal media outlets and elsewhere as a method of mocking the activists and their concerns.

On Saturday, the president delivered a commencement address at the University of Michigan where he said one way “to keep our democracy healthy is to maintain a basic level of civility in our public debate … But we can’t expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down.”

So much for any pretense of consistency…but what’s the backstory on this? Read on:

“President ‘Tea Bagger’ Owes Grandma an Apology

Just so we understand the ground rules here: 1) calling a Progressive Democrat a Socialist is bad; 2) Calling “Tea Party” protesters “Tea Baggers” is A-OKAY.

We seem to remember when the Left went apoplectic over imaginary suggestions that they were unpatriotic for being “against the war” during the Bush administration. We seem to recall President Obama very recently complaining about being called a Socialist (why do Democrats find Socialist to be such a dirty word? What is it about being a Socialist that they should universally shrink away from the title?).

You couldn’t ask for a more textbook definition of hypocrisy.

It is perversely amusing, though, watching Media Matters defend President “Tea-Bagger” for referring to average Americans, whose only crime is to reject Socialism, with a sexually offensive slur.

For a reminder, here are some shots of some U.S. citizens, who, in the Media Matters universe, should be referred to by the President of the United States as people who take testicles into their mouths.

So, how does this get to Lake Herman? Oh yes…via our own C.A.H. who has apparently figured that if it’s good enough for B.O. it’s good enough for him:

Teabaggers Rejoice: No Bailout for Flooded SD Homes

I won’t even address the content of this snarky and illogical post itself…that’s another whole discussion.

The descriptive terminology of the header strives for and achieves a new low, even from Madville.

Hey, Cory, do you have any daughters? Or a grandmother? Would you like them to be referred to by elected officials, or allegedly serious bloggers, as people who put testicles into their mouths? Do you really think it’s appropriate for ANY elected official or anyone who pretends to be a serious commentator on events to refer to anyone that way?

Maybe so. Too bad.

FTC completes first “blog-ola” investigation

Posted: Monday, May 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm
By: Tim Gebhart
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Last December 1, blogs were explicitly brought within the scope of updated Federal Trade Commission guidelines on rules governing the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. The FTC last month quietly posted on its web site the “closing letter” of its first investigation involving blogs under the rules.

The FTC investigated whether the Ann Taylor Stores Corp. violated the law in connection with providing gifts to bloggers who the company expected would post about the company’s LOFT division. In its April 20 closing letter, the FTC staff said it had decided “not to recommend enforcement action at this time.”

The investigation stemmed from LOFT providing gifts to bloggers who attended a January 26 “Exclusive Blogger Preview!” of LOFT’s Summer 2010 collection. The invitation said bloggers attending would receive a special gift and be entered in a “mystery gift card drawing.” In smaller print, the invitation said any blog coverage had to appear within 24 hours and links had to be sent to LOFT to be eligible for gift cards ranging from $10 to $500. The FTC guidelines require bloggers who receive a free or discounted product or service in exchange for writing a review to disclose that fact.

According to reports, 31 bloggers attended the event and all received gift cards. According to the FTC, only a very small number of bloggers posted anything about the preview, and several of them disclosed that LOFT had provided them gifts. Also working in LOFT’s favor was that it adopted a written policy after the event that it will not issue gifts to any blogger without first telling the blogger they must disclose the gift on his or her blog. “The FTC staff expects that LOFT will both honor that written policy and take reasonable steps to monitor bloggers’ compliance with the obligation to disclose gifts they receive from LOFT,” the closing letter said.

In typical government fashion, the letter noted that the decision not to take further steps “is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred.” In other words, we’re not saying you did or didn’t violate the law but we’re watching you.

This is the first public disclosure of an investigation involving bloggers under the updated guidelines. Undoubtedly, it stemmed in part from mainstream and fashion press coverage before and after the event. Some of the coverage directly asked whether this violated the new regulations, almost inviting the FTC to investigate. Yet the letter also appears to support the FTC’s statement before the updated guidelines were adopted that it would pursue the advertisers, not individual bloggers.

Frankly, then, the closing letter shouldn’t prompt a new round of uproar in the blogging community. Still, the fact there was an investigation and a public letter on it indicates that blogs are on the FTC’s radar and that bloggers need to be cognizant of that fact. Moreover, corporations who see social media as a vehicle for advertising and endorsements better be putting policies in place and making sure they are following the regulations.

And for Something Completely Different: Some New Blogs for Your Reading Enjoyment

Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm
By: Todd Epp
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Cover of "The Right Stuff (Two-Disc Speci...

Cover via Amazon

I’m a person of many interests.  And yes, I’ve had many blogs.  Some, like this, I’ve sustained in one form or another for years.  Others seem to run their course or I get bored.

Hey, you’re getting all this for free, so don’t complain.

Anyway, I’ve started three new specialized blogs that you might enjoy.  They are:

  • This Big Day In South Dakota History:  This was a semi-regular feature over on my legacy South Dakota Watch site but I am bringing it back at its own site.  Again, I welcome your tidbits (with exact dates) about South Dakota history.  For example, on February 13, 1985, the South Dakota Legislature decided to go to Washington–all 105 members–to plead for help for the state’s farmers.

All three of these new blogs are featured in the side columns of this blog.   I’ll continue to comment on South Dakota, Midwestern, and national politics here, as well as Buddhism and all the other things I’ve generally written about in the past.

Thanks for your continued readership and responsible commenting.

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Anonymity, and Free Speech, and the American Tradition

Posted: Monday, February 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm
By: Ken Blanchard
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Publius_Ovidius_NasoProfessor Newquist’s recent reply to me presents a strong case, but my Keloland colleague seems to see only one side of the question.  We agree that people have a right to be protected against defamation and that this right requires that violators be held responsible for abuses of freedom of speech.  Whether this is among the unalienable rights that the Founders recognized is more problematic.

But sometimes the protection of one right is limited by another, or by legal procedure, as when a murderer goes free (perhaps to kill again) because he cannot be subject to double jeopardy, or because the evidence needed to convict him was excluded from court.

The question here is whether protecting people from defamation is worth requiring the abolition of anonymity in speech and writing.  Professor Newquist says this, in reply to my post:

The idea that holding people accountable for their words chills open discussion is nonsense.  It destroys open discussion.  The First Amendment was not conceived as a protection of cowardice and insidiousness.  Those speakers who fear responses to their words and wish to throw missiles and cower behind a mangled First Amendment,  we cite another cliche: if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.  Or in the language of the blogosphere, if you can’t accept responsibility for your words, just STFU.  Communication involves a message from a sender to a receiver and back again.  An interpretation of the First Amendment that protects anonymous speech is an interpretation that subverts the whole idea of robust dialogue.

This flies in the face of much recent liberal thinking on freedom of the press, for example.  Many reporters have gone to jail rather than reveal anonymous sources.  I am not convinced that such sources are protected by the Constitution, but it is hardly nonsense to think protecting such anonymity makes it easier for reporters to get sources to talk.  There is a good case to be made for shield laws that protect journalists and their anonymous sources.

Likewise, I do not think that the right to post anonymously or to allow anonymous posts is protected by the Constitution, though I am not at all sure how the Supreme Court would come down on that.  But I am quite sure that internet anonymity does encourage robust dialogue.  Consider the case of someone who wishes to weigh in on the subject of gay marriage on my blog, but doesn’t want his neighbors to know who he is lest they begin wondering about why he remains so long a bachelor.  I think protecting his anonymity is a reasonable price to pay for encouraging him to join in the conversation.  Professor Newquist’s response to him is to shut the f**k up.

Professor Newquist links to a case which is very interesting.  From the New York Times:

It occurred to Anne Mitchell as she was writing the letter that she might lose her job, which is why she chose not to sign it. But it was beyond her conception that she would be indicted and threatened with 10 years in prison for doing what she knew a nurse must: inform state regulators that a doctor at her rural hospital was practicing bad medicine.

Judging from the reporting at the Times and on NPR, it looks like Nurse Mitchell was doing the right thing and acting in the best interests of this doctor’s patients when she set out to alert authorities about the doctor’s questionable practices.  But he had the ear of a powerful local sheriff, and now she is being prosecuted under a law prohibiting “the misuse of official information.”

However this comes out, it is clear that laws holding people to account for what they say and right can be used by the powerful to stifle dissenting voices.  As I pointed out, internet anonymity is vital to the dissident movements in Iran and China.  Why else did the Chinese Government and Google come into conflict?  People have less to fear in these United States, but as Ms. Mitchell’s case show, that doesn’t mean they have nothing to fear.

I am not saying that there should be no protections against defamation or that no person should be held to account for his speech and writing.  But I do think internet anonymity is a valuable protection for dissenters here as in more repressive regimes.  When someone writes publically, as David and I do, in our own names, we take responsibility for what we say and for that reason what we say can be taken more seriously than anonymous voices.  David, however, refuses to acknowledge that there can be legitimate motives for remaining anonymous, and this does a disservice to a lot of internet heroes around the world.

It also does a disservice to those champions of unalienable rights, the American Founders.  A lot of the finest American rhetoric was published under pseudonyms.  What was a necessity during the revolution became a standard practice in the early years of the Republic.  Over forty of those who wrote during the debates over the Constitution wrote under pseudonyms like “An American Farmer,” or “Cato” or “an Officer of the Late Continental Army.”  The greatest commentary on the Constitution was written by three men (Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay) who published under the name of Publius.

Contrary to what my colleague seems to think, anonymous political speech as been part of the American political tradition from the beginning.  I stand with the Founders.

Blognote & Tuesday Events

Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:37 pm
By: RadioActive Chief
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Blogging has been slow lately…have been shifting over to Windows 7…which has caused a few issues that needed to be resolved.  This was right after some config issues with my blog host site…nothing wrong with THEM…just some changes that requred configuration that was…ah…beyond my experience?  You get the picture!

Anyway…things are expeditious again, so it’s back to normal, or at least what passes for it.

Tuesday Events

Meanwhile…tomorrow is a big political day.

The Chief will be attendign a luncheon meeting with SD Attorney General Jackley who will be speaking on issues affecting the state with regards to the current decrepit state of  Federalism.  More to follow after the event.

Oh yeah, there is also the Massachusetts Senate special election, which one supposes that some will be following with some degree of interest.

However it turns out, there will be a lot of grist for the discussion mills…this has become a big deal…the Chief admits he will be one of those watching for the results on this.

Although Boston and the Bay State are a “fur piece” from the northern plains, the political reach of this one can have significant effects, even out here.

B.O. making fun of pickuop truck drivers in his effort to contribute to the Donkey Party cause has, IMHO  a lack of situational awareness and again demonstrates an attitude of elitist contempt for life in the real world.

One could also point out that there is some inconsistancy in criticizing Brown for driving his truck – which is a GMC.  Ooops!  So much for supporting General Motors!

Beware the book review cyberslums

Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 4:21 pm
By: Tim Gebhart
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For those who don’t know, my personal blog tends to focus on books, reading and book reviews. Thus, you would think I would automatically hail the advent of a new interweb book review site, especially one created by a well-respected national magazine. But I can’t say The New Republic did much to entice me when it announced its new online book review, The Book.

In an online letter to “Friends of Books and Writers,” executive editor Isaac Chotiner tells readers that the site is a supplement to the magazine’s print material. Why is TNR adding such a supplement? In part because of “the absence of any site for the serious consideration of serious books is also a fact of the web.” Now it doesn’t really bother me that much if, for whatever reason, TNR doesn’t think I seriously consider serious books. But evidently Mr. Chotiner has never heard of sites such as the 10-year-old the complete review, my friends at Words Without Borders or even the more recent Barnes & Noble Review.

Yet that isn’t what really bothers me. Rather, it’s this portion of his letter: “We are not slumming here, or surrendering to the carnival of the web. Quite the contrary. We are hoping to offer an example of resistance to it. … Here you will find criticism, not blogging; pieces, not posts.” Nor does Mr. Chotiner appear to be the only one at The Book with such view. In an October introductory letter sent by email, the TNR‘s literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, announced that the site’s reviews “will not be blog posts. Again: They will not be blog posts.”

So, we have a twist on the longstanding print v. “lit blogs” discussion. A print outlet launches a lit blog but, of course, because of who and what it is, it isn’t really a lit blog. It has serious material and is inherently superior. After all, even if I review the same books, I do not do criticism, I “blog.” I don’t write reviews, I write “posts.” Because of those distinctions, anyone who reads a review on my blog is “slumming, or surrendering to the carnival of the web.”

Now I realize my lit crit skills pale in comparison to Messrs. Chotiner and Wieseltier or many of the contributors to TNR. I have frequently called myself an “illiterati.” I also realize things aren’t always all that serious around my blog. But thank goodness the status of book bloggers has been confirmed by the powers that be. Thank goodness TNR will “offer an example of resistance” to what I and others do. Thank goodness it will rescue readers from tawdry book bloggers.

Don’t get me wrong. I agree that the demise of dedicated print book reviews means we need and should welcome additional online book reviews. The more the merrier (although I’d have hoped TNR didn’t have such preconceived notions about the subhuman status of book bloggers). I guess all I can really hope is that The Book doesn’t plan on destroying the slums in order to save them.

I Will Call Him Mini-Me, er, Mini-Blogs

Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm
By: Todd Epp
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After years of scratching my head and futile searches on Google, I’ve finally figured out a way (actually ways) to add some “Mini-Mes,” er, “Mini-Blogs” inside of my main blog here at the home edition of the Middle Border Sun.

These mini-blogs are short takes on various topics that don’t rate a full-blown blog entry.  They are:

These short blurbs are featured in the inside narrow column towards the top.  I hope you enjoy them.

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And The Winners Are… Best SD* Political Blogs Of 2009

Posted: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm
By: Todd Epp
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As selected by you, the readers, and me, the editor, here are the winners of the Second Annual Middle Border Sun (f/k/a South Dakota Watch) Best SD* Political Blogs of 2009!

Best SD Political Blog

Reader’s Choice: Dakota Women
Runner  Up: South Dakota War College
Editor’s Choice: South Dakota War College
Runner Up: Hemmingsen Weighs In

Best SD Lefty Blog
Reader’s Choice: Dakota Women
Runner Up: Madville Times
Editor’s Choice:  The Decorum Forum
Runner Up: Northern Valley Beacon

Best SD Rightwing Blog
Readers’ Choice: South Dakota War College
Runner Up: Voices Carry
Editor’s Choice: South Dakota War College
Runner Up: Jay Stream

Best New SD Political Blog
Readers’ Choice: Decorum Forum, Pure Pierre Politics
Editor’s Choice: Decorum Forum
Runner Up: Badlands Blue (the new and improved version)

Best SD MSM Political Blog
Readers’ Choice: Pure Pierre Politics, Mount Blogmore
Editor’s Choice: Hemmingsen Weighs In,
Runners Up: Republic Insider, Jay Stream, Politically Speaking

Best SD Special Interest/Single Issue Political Blog
Readers’ Choice: Dakota Women
Runner Up: Voices Carry
Editor’s Choice: Take It Outside
Runner Up: Voices Carry

Best SD Political Blog Lifetime Achievement Award

Editor’s Choice: Black Marks On Wood Pulp, Rant A Bit

Congratulations to the winners!  I’m going to try and come up with some sort of online certificate that you can link to if you like.  And thanks to all the *South Dakota/KELOLAND/Sioux Empire/Siouxland bloggers for all you to do inform, entertain, and make us think!

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Hurry! Voting Ends Soon On Best SD Political Blogs Of 2009!

Posted: Sunday, December 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm
By: Todd Epp
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If you haven’t done so, vote now on your favorite South Dakota political blogs.  Multiple votes are allowed!

Click here to vote or go to the ballot at the end of the post.


Here are the categories:

Best SD* Political Blog
Best SD* Lefty Political Blog
Best SD* Rightwing Political Blog
Best SD* New Political Blog
Best SD* MSM Political Blog
Best SD* Special Interest/Single Issue Political Blog
SD* Political Blog Lifetime Achievement Award

Here are last year’s winners:

Non-MSM S.D. Political Blog
Readers’ Choice:
Winner: Dakota Women
Runner-up: Voices Carry
Editor’s Choice:
Award of Merit:
South Dakota War College
Honorable Mention:
South Dakota Watch

Best Lefty Blog:
Readers’ Choice:

Winner: Dakota Women
Runner-up: South DaCola
Editor’s Choice:
Award of Merit:
Madville Times

Honorable Mention:
South DaCola


Northern Valley Beacon

Best Righty Blog:

Readers’ Choice:

Winner: Voices Carry
Runner-up: South Dakota War College
Editor’s Choice:
Award of Merit:
South Dakota Politics

Honorable Mention:

Dakota Voice

Best Women’s Run Blog:
Readers’ Choice:
Winner: Dakota Women
Runner-up: Hog House
Editor’s Choice:
Award of Merit:
Flying Tomato Farms

Honorable Mention:
Hog House

Blogging While Feminist

Dakota Women

Best New Blog:
Award of Merit:

Honorable Mention:
The Dakota Day

Lifetime Achievement Award:
Dakota Today
Sibby Online

Minus Car Project

A Progressive on the Prairie

What do the winners get?  The satisfaction of knowing they are beloved.

*For the purposes of this contest, South Dakota includes the vast reaches of KELOLAND and Siouxland.

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