Art Of Blogging–IST Update

The news of the day is boring and redundant…..I can only stand so much blah-blah before I go into another universe in my head.

My weekend continues and I have nothing of value to contribute today…..so I will go off the cuff…..

I like to keep my readers up to date on what is happening here on IST…..

I started blogging in 2006 after a nasty fall that crush one of my legs and I needed something to keep my mind busy and off my problem….since I had been a teacher and did lots of writing I figured that I would take up my old vice…..news and commentary.

Things started off slowly…basically I used my blog to cut and paste news articles that I wanted to keep for reference…..after about a year I started getting comments on the stuff I had written….and then I started adding my thoughts backed up by links and facts and my comments improved and expanded…

Originally the title was Studies And Observations and then it went through a period of trying to find a better title and I finally settled on In Saner Thought…the title of a small book of poetry from my youth.

It was always pretty good at attracting people but few stayed around for long….most of the deserters were from my Twitter account not WP……..and then I installed the translation widget and my readership expanded rather rapidly….I am getting many more international visitors than before….I now have regulars from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Morocco…..to mention only a few….and I am thankful for their readership and comments.

I have always contended that I am no expert at this blogging thing….but as things have progressed I feel that IST has become a success….not as popular as I would want…but then we all think we are better at it than others….that ego trip we are all on when we write a blog.

Another aspect that I consider a success is in the comments…..they are great and I like to treat them as if I am speaking to the person directly not just throwing stuff at them.  Also those that comment also reply to replies…it strikes up a conversation between visitors……… I like that aspect also.

In the beginning most visitors were from English speaking countries but these days I am getting regulars from all over the globe…..I am also getting multiple re-blogs since the installation of the translation widget and that helps expand the conversation and exchange of thoughts.

Finally, recently I was contacted by Autumn of WriterBeat.com that asked if they could cross post one of my articles on their site…..I agreed and here is the link……

Source: Is Obama A Socialist?

That pretty much catches everyone up……and thank you guys for all the help to make IST a small success…..I cannot express my gratitude properly other than THANK YOU.

I apologize I just had to toot the IST horn a bit.

So ends another Sunday post….I will go out and work in the garden and get a little exercise in while my leg is feeling better…..may be a little brunch in the garden…..fruit, nuts, cheese and a little wine……enjoy your day, my friends…….

Be well and be safe….chuq

Closing Thought–21Apr17

The Left Shall Rise Again!

Since the last election there has been a new wild swing of young Americans looking into the “Left” of days gone by….

Social media seems to be the meeting place for these “newcomers”……

From Axios:

NewsWhip spokesman Liam Corcoran says general news sites don’t always post about political news, which lowers their average, but when they do, the uptick in engagement is significant. CNN, for example, saw an increase of over 68% in Facebook engagement year over year due to a higher volume of politically-related posts.

Facebook is a good tool for observing the rise of political movements: And its role in activism will only grow bigger. New tools, like call-to-action buttons, fundraising buttons and buttons to contact elected officials, combined with traditional tools, like mass-event invitations, make it easy for political groups to form and spread on Facebook. For example, The Women’s Marches that made national headlines all over the country in January were organized by one woman on Facebook and according to a University of Maryland study cited by CNN, 70% of people who attended the march in Washington heard about the event on Facebook.

It does this old radical’s heart good to see the interests in Left politics…..some further reading on this phenom……

Source: The Millennial Generation Is a Perfect Fit for Socialism | Alternet

Source: More Americans joining socialist groups under Trump | USA | Al Jazeera

Source: Socialism’s Return | The Nation

I feel this is a good thing….because that would give us a truly accurate political system….as it is now we have a one party system with slightly different views on issues…..there is NO opposition other than the silly theatrics of our Congress.

I be finished for the day…..I be weary and must relax and unwind…I shall return tomorrow to begin my weekend and my cleansing of the mind….thanx everyone for all your visits and comments for the past week……I appreciate each and every one of you……chuq

Repeal Of Internet Security

Less than a week ago I covered the repeal of an Obama bill that would protect users on-line history in my Closing Thought…..but in case you missed it (and most people did)……

Source: Closing Thought–24Mar17 – In Saner Thought

Now the repeal is headed for the desk of the President Trump……

A measure to repeal online privacy rules brought in under former President Barack Obama before they take effect is on its way to President Trump’s desk after the House passed it with a 215-205 vote. The measure—which passed the Senate 50-48 last week—blocks the FCC from enforcing a rule it approved in October banning internet service providers from selling and sharing users’ data without obtaining their consent. The White House issued a statement Tuesday saying Trump strongly supports the move because websites are not required to obtain the same consent, resulting in “rules that apply very different regulatory regimes based on the identity of the online actor,” Reuters reports. A look at the debate:

  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of putting profits before privacy, the AP reports. “Overwhelmingly, the American people do not agree with Republicans that this information should be sold, and it certainly should not be sold without your permission,” she said. “Our broadband providers know deeply personal information about us and our families.” The AP notes that 15 Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the move.
  • The move allows ISPs to sell data such as browsing history and geolocation information. “I have a simple question: What the heck are you thinking?” Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano said during the House debate, per Ars Technica. “What is in your mind? Why would you want to give up any of your personal information to a faceless corporation for the sole purpose of them selling it? Give me one good reason why Comcast should know my mother’s medical problems.”
  • Online privacy advocates argued that ISPs should face stricter guidelines because unlike website and search engines, they have information on all the websites a user visits, meaning they will be better able to sell highly targeted ads, the Washington Post reports. “Today’s vote means that Americans will never be safe online from having their most personal details stealthily scrutinized and sold to the highest bidder,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.
  • Republicans including Trump-appointed FCC chief Ajit Pai argued that a different federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission, should be in charge of regulating privacy for both websites and ISPs. The AP notes that the FTC has long been seen as having a lighter regulatory touch than the FCC. “The internet has become the amazing tool that it is because it is largely left untouched by regulation, and that shouldn’t stop now,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.

Making America great again….one repealed law after another.

Even supporters of Trump are having a problem with this sort of betrayal…..this press is from a regular here on IST….my friend John of Ripening Wanderer fame…..even opponents can find a common ground…..

Second Thoughts About My Support For Trump: I was very quick to embrace Donald J. Trump as President of The United States because whenever he spoke I thought he was speaking some of the very though…

Source: THE RIPENING WANDERER

We Americans need to keep a vigil on our rights…we are losing them slowly but slowly…..a loss that we may never regain.

After I wrote this draft more info came to my attention…..

The country now waits for President Trump to put his signature on a bill blocking enforcement of FCC rules meant to keep internet service providers from selling and sharing user data. What people aren’t waiting to do, however: freak out about the official loss of much of their privacy online once the bill bucking the Obama-promoted regulations is signed. Vox explains what this decision will mean to the typical American internet user, while Gizmodo takes a more proactive privacy stance, discussing in depth how users can hide their browsing history from ISPs, including via a virtual private network, or VPN. More on this technology from around the web:

  • Lifehacker dives into the ins and outs of what a VPN is, the encryption technology behind it, and how it works as a “middleman between you and the internet”; further advantages and drawbacks are explored by Fortune.
  • Who’s not so sure VPNs are a sure bet to protect your digital privacy: Wired, which notes resorting to using such a system effectively puts “the burden of privacy entirely on consumers.”
  • If you do decide to spring for your own private network, don’t cheap out, TNW advises. Otherwise, you may get exceedingly sluggish service. As a matter of course, those inexpensive versions “suck.”
  • Interest in VPNs is definitely on the upswing. TorrentFreak looks at the numbers regarding web searches for the term.

We all need to work together and stop this invasion of our privacy……

What say you?

Investigation: The “Bots” Did It!

Beware of the “Bots”.

We all have heard the accusations about the 2016 election and the meddling by Russia……they, the FBI, is focusing on the social media as their investigations progresses……

Today, it’s social media bots, with investigators looking into the question of whether sites publishing pro-Trump news, of which Breitbart News and InfoWars were singled out by sources, were “assisting Russia’s operatives” in getting Trump elected.

There’s seemingly no evidence of that, but certain bots were flooding Facebook and Twitter with links to the “pro-Trump stories” from the two media outlets, along with Russia’s Sputnik News and RT. Officials are also claiming some of the stories “were false.”

While social media bots are ubiquitous, the FBI appears to believe that this could lead to a link between the sites and Russia. Rep. Adan Schiff (D – CA), always eager to push the Trump-Russia narrative, says it amounts to “circumstantial evidence of collusion,” and suggested that Congress would get involved to investigate the “deception” by the media outlets.

There is little doubt that someone somewhere manipulated the social media and the news with crap…..and the FBI is looking at two of the biggest crap generators

As part of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) inquiry into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, hard-right media outlets are facing scrutiny.

Outlets including Breitbart News and Infowars are being investigated by the FBI Counterintelligence Division to see exactly what their role was in the Russian manipulation of last year’s election. Their part in spreading pro-Trump news and anti-Hillary rumors happen to have coincided with “operatives for Russia [who] appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as ‘bots,’ to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories.”

According to Journalists Peter Stone and Greg Gordon: “The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction.”

Source: FBI Investigating Infowars, Breitbart for Colluding with Russia to Manipulate the 2016 Election | Top US & World News | Susanne Posel

Also it appears that some of those around Trump may have been playing hide the weenie with Russia…..people like Flynn, Manafort, and on and on……

The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN.

This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, according to one source.
This issue is becoming interesting…there is so many twists and turns that it is playing like a Guy Richie movie…..
There is one more thing….to get into a official press conference one must have the proper credentials….we already have nutjobs on the Right with them and now a new player wants to get into the fun……

Russian state-owned news outlet Sputnik has applied for a White House press pass, Politico reported Friday.

Sputnik is applying to be a member in the White House Foreign Press Group, which would give it a chance to be a part of a group of about 22 foreign outlets covering Trump alongside pool reporters from U.S. news sources.

The White House Foreign Press Group head Philip Crowther told Politico that if Sputnik meets the required criteria, there “shouldn’t be any reason” for the Russian publication to not join the press pool.The requirements would include a membership in the White House Correspondents’ Association, a verification by the State Department that Sputnik is based in Russia, and a White House-approved hard pass.

Interesting…..with all the hub-bub about Russia these days….will they be permitted into the inner sanctum of news?

Art Of Blogging–Personal Touch

From time to time I write about the “Art of Blogging”…..and NO I do not consider myself an expert by any stretch…..but I consider my blogging experience as a success so I decided to give my thoughts about the this form of communication….

I believe that anyone that visits my blog deserves my attention…..yes, I want as many followers and readers as I can get…just like most of us that are doing this experiment……and by attention I am talking about a personal touch.

By personal I mean when they comment I answer each one as uniquely as I can…there are NO canned replies….and when I get word of a new follower I go to their site and leave a thank you message and will follow them as a thank you also….I also try to read their posts…I mean read the whole thing not a title or a paragraph and then comment…..my followers deserve an honest comment/reply……I do not block any comment unless it is disgusting or after requesting more civility they continue being rude or insulting.  And I do not consider those that do not agree with as trolls to be chastised…..I enjoy substantive comments and replies and these deserve the same in return.

Some of my comments may be short but that is because I believe….”why write a novel when a paragraph will do?”….something my grandfather told me many years ago….if you can make your point in 5 words why use any more?

Plus I do not just follow someone to try and improve my stats….of course not everyone thinks this way and that is fine…I do what I think is best for IST….so far my hard work is paying off.

Again I am by NO means an expert at blogging…..the stuff I write about is stuff that seems to work for me and not all of us are the same so “what is good for the goose may not be good for the gander”….all we can do is try.

On a side note….I recently added the translation widget to IST….and since then I have received at least one new follower a day….I cannot say for sure that the widget helped this but I will because it suits me….LOL

Enough said….time to leave the keyboard behind and enjoy my weekend…..I suggest you do the same…..I wish you well and be safe……chuq

The Magical Return Of The “Assie” Awards

My closing thought of the day…..30Dec16

A few years ago IST use to award a special prize, The “Assie” Awards, to the person that made the most stupid comment…past winners have been people like McCain and others….it was discontinued because there was not much participation…..you see I would post the nominees and let my readers vote for the one that was the biggest anal statement of the year.

After much thought and few people wanting to see the awards return I have decided to give it a try again….but this time the name will be changed to the Asshat Award from the original Anal-ocity Award.

I will attempt to award a monthly “Assie” and then those 11 winners will compete for the Annual “Assie”……please during this time if anyone sees or hears something they think would be a winner let me know….if it is used I will give credit to the person and/or blog that turned me onto it.

The monthly winners will be posted on the last day of the month….the month of December will not have a monthly winner so that IST can concentrate on the annual winner.

Since I decided this recently there was NO time for an annual thing so I found what I considered a bonehead statement for the 2016 award…..

2016 Asshat Award

WINNER

The 2016 winner of the IST “Assie” Award is GOP rep of Michigan, Bill Huizenga…….

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) says there’s “definitely” going to be changes in health care delivery after Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, and people are going to need to take more responsibility for the cost of their treatment.

He gave a personal example of how do this: When his 10-year-old son recently fell on the driveway one evening and injured his arm, Huizenga waited until the next day to take him to the doctor because it cost less than bringing him to the emergency room that night.

DUDE!

I believe that the reason this person won the award is damn obvious……

To the honorable Rep. Bill Huizenga…..congrats on your award……and we at IST look forward to your views in 2017….Good luck.  (a copy of this post will be emailed to the office of the winner)

Enjoy your weekend.

Closing Thought–27Dec16

Today I celebrate my 10th anniversary of blogging.

Ten years ago today I started my blog as a way to fight the depression that I was falling into after badly screwing up my right leg after a fall…..I had learned that I would no longer be able to work that took physical exercise since my leg was only about 70% and painful all the time……so I was put out to pasture as they say…..

In the 10 years I have made some amazing friends here on IST…..I been able to get 1900+ followers and an outlet for my opinionated ass.  In these years I have made few adjustments to this blog….name changes and series that just did not generate much interest…..for the most part….what you see is what you get.

This short post is to say thank you for all the people that have chosen to visit and to comment on IST…..to me it is a success maybe not by some people’s definition of the word….but to me it has been an amazing trip…

I hope to continue for as long as I can and hope all my followers will stick with me and help me make this even more successful……and a great journey.

Thank you, my friends.