Breaking Political News, Sourced by Social Media
By: Doug Ross
Like you, I spend a lot of time trying to keep up-to-date on the hottest significant news stories. Since we free-thinking folks have to largely bypass vintage media, which have largely become a public relations arm of the Obama administration, it isn’t easy to do. There are thousands of great sites out there, any of which can have a noteworthy news story.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to check thousands of websites for breaking news.
Yes, there are some great aggregators out there: Drudge, Twitchy, etc. But all of them rely upon human editors and, most importantly, don’t give smaller blogs and websites much of their attention.
That’s why we created BadBlue News. It’s a very different type of news aggregator because it uses machine learning and automation to achieve massive scalability in assessing news sources and breaking stories. Here’s how it’s different:
1. It uses social network buzz, not a set of human editors, to determine how important a story is.
2. It levels the playing field for smaller websites and blogs by taking into account traffic patterns; that is, a story on a small blog with 15 retweets might be equivalent to a story on Fox News with 1,000 retweets. The traffic patterns and social buzz are both factored in by BadBlue to offer a much wider range of news coverage than any other aggregator.
3. It never sleeps: BadBlue runs 24×7 and never relies upon human editors making decisions.
BadBlue is growing quickly. From September 2013 to January 2014, page views grew by 20 percent, with Google Analytics reporting the average time onsite is a startling 31 minutes!
In this election year, BadBlue can play an important role for advancing the conservative agenda by cutting through the media censors and offering a level playing field for websites and blogs of all sizes.
I’d love for you to come visit and, if you like it, to tell your friends, tweet about it, or like it on Facebook.
2014 will be a big year for liberty and I believe getting the word out on uncensored news stories — bypassing the state-run media — will be critical.
Victim: The Nation
By: Mark Cromer
Victims of Illegal Immigration – A Collection of Essays
Hat Tip: Dick Manasseri
The long hollowing out of America’s once-mighty manufacturing base, which effectively ended the generational tradition of sons following their fathers into jobs that provided a secure paycheck and a pension, has been followed by the in-sourcing of waves of cheap, illegal labor to replace American workers, and, in doing so, suppress wages and benefits.
To the black citizens in south Los Angeles who have watched as their jobs, schools, and communities have been overrun with illegal immigrants, there is a bitter irony in lofty progressive cant about justice for illegal immigrants, even as blacks find themselves again being pushed to the back of the economic bus.
Political gains by blacks in Southern California, that were secured over many decades of struggle, now face their own twilight as the sweeping demographic shift eventually eliminates black voting power in communities across the southland.
Two or three generations deeper into this crisis, the real question will be what citizenship will be worth. What cherished hallmarks will the designation “American” hold?
Like the microcosm of Southern California, it will be a nation that is brimming with people struggling to survive, and yet with even less of a cohesive sense of a national identity – of just what an American is – than at any other time in the country’s history. The meaning of American will simply be whatever one wishes it to be. Instead of a bedrock sense of ideals and values, it will be malleable, transitory, written in chalk.
Ironically, far from bringing more people closer to the “American Dream” (that once-perennial hope which defined a country and provided more opportunity for its citizens than any other nation on earth), it will now be further away than ever before for most of its people.
California’s grim fate should serve as a warning for the rest of the nation. There are towns, counties, and states that are experiencing, like California did in the late 1980s and early 1990s, exploding populations of illegal immigrants that are reshaping their communities, their culture, and their quality of life at a pace and on a scale that would have been unimaginable a generation ago.
In places like Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Georgia, the future is being decided today.
If American citizens cannot muster the political will to act decisively to preserve their overarching culture and the quality of life that was passed along to them after so much sacrifice across the 20th Century, then they will find themselves in the same terminal condition that California is in today – an inglorious ending for a nation whose lamps once burned so brightly with promise.
Mark Cromer is a widely-published journalist. This was excerpted from “California Twilight: A Native Bears Witness to the End of the Golden State,” www.noozhawk.com.
Time Runs Out on Counting Casualties in Gaza
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Last week I received an email from Time magazine, asking if I “would be interested in contributing a piece for Time.com on the casualty numbers being reported in Gaza. These come mostly from Hamas, and we’re interested in a piece on how reliable/unreliable the numbers are,” the email said. But the magazine apparently wasn’t interested in the product they requested.
I immediately responded that I would be willing to provide them with a piece, and, at their request, suggested what I would plan to say. They wrote back the following: “I think we need a piece that focuses on the reported casualties and how we can/should unpack those numbers as reliable or not. What source or sources should we be going to, and how should the casualty count be done? I don’t think we need to address Israel being treated as the aggressor since I think many will be familiar with that perspective and its counter.” When I submitted a full piece targeted more toward what they suggested, they decided to pass. It wasn’t “quite what we’re looking for so will have to pass.”
The media have been playing games with the coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and most of it favors the residents of Gaza. After the UN school in Gaza was hit last week, and said to have killed 15 or 16 people, Time ran a story, which, as stated in the postscript at the end of the article, was a corrected version. By Time magazine’s admission, the earlier version of the story “drew a premature conclusion that the attack on the Gaza shelter was committed by Israel. The source of the attack has not yet been confirmed.”
NBC news also cited “Israeli shells” for the attack and spoke with “health ministry official Ashraf al-Kidra.” Israel acknowledged that a single Israeli Defense Force (IDF) shell hit the school courtyard, but said it was at a time when there was no one there, and that it had nothing to do with the deaths of those 16 people.
It’s not surprising, then, that The New York Times on July 28 counted the “mounting outrage over the hundreds of civilian Palestinians dead” as among several levers in the leverage that Hamas has in cease-fire negotiations. This hints at something all too true: every dead or crying Palestinian woman and child serves as propaganda on behalf of the militant Hamas terrorist cause.
The New York Times also describes Hamas, which was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in 1997, as a “militant Palestinian faction that dominates the Gaza Strip” in this piece. The article front-loads the pro-Hamas sources as it makes its analysis, but the “former Israeli chief of military intelligence” is given the last word. “This is their ideology, this is what they believe in; it’s the resistance,” says Amos Yadlin. “To ask Hamas to demilitarize Gaza is like asking a priest to convert to Judaism.”
How many people really read the Times’ articles to the last sentence, especially in a 1,300-word piece?
But the Times does hint at one important issue: for all the talk about aid to those in the Gaza Strip, would international aid produce the intended effect at this point? “Politically isolated after breaks with Syria, Iran and especially Egypt, and its effort at reconciling with the Palestinian factions that rule the West Bank having failed to bear fruit, Hamas has all but given up on governing Gaza to focus on the battlefield,” writes the Times. Resistance is now a make-or-break issue.
The mainstream media’s reporting on the whole has been despicable. Although Israel agreed to five cease-fires, every one of them was broken by Hamas—which, since the Palestinians are now supposedly a “unity government,” is the same as the Palestinian government. For those who think that Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah in the West Bank represent the moderates, they should pay attention when he declares the current conflict a religious “War for Allah.” In fact, Abbas is no moderate at all, as former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger has detailed. Earlier this year Abbas said there is “no way” that he will accept Israel as a Jewish state.
Unfortunately, Time magazine, like most of the media, is determined to blame Israel in this conflict. Thus, they weren’t interested in an article that even partially discussed Israel being unfairly treated as the aggressor.
With all of their images of hospitalized and injured children, and adults, how often do the reporters connect the dots and say, “This is happening because Hamas is using women and children as human shields, and doing what it can to create more such casualties, since that is what they understand works to bring pressure on Israel. Hamas clearly does not care about the lives of its own people.” That should be the obvious conclusion to these so-called journalists, but instead, the focus of most of the reporting is to characterize Israel as the aggressor, the real terrorists, responsible for all of these casualties. Besides, the numbers of civilian deaths coming from Hamas, or the Gaza Health Ministry, are largely propaganda. How many of the casualties are caused by missiles fired from Gaza that didn’t make it into Israel? How many are because they were used as human shields? How many were killed because they were viewed as collaborators with Israel? I discuss more about the issue in the article below that was apparently too hot for Time magazine to touch.
Counting Casualties in Gaza
By Roger Aronoff
July 23, 2014
The death toll continues to rise in the Gaza Strip, for both Palestinians and Israelis. But media outlets have been relying on figures from the Gaza Health Ministry, which has a vested interest in making sure the death toll reflects poorly on Israelis. Raphael Ahren wrote for The Times of Israel recently that “the number of casualties, and the percentage of civilians among the dead, comes exclusively from Palestinian sources.” Israeli sources will likely not publish their numbers until much later.
In addition, according to Ahren, the United Nations has been using this same Gaza Health Ministry figures within its own reports, lending them greater credibility. The liberal ThinkProgress, a project of the Center for American Progress, challenges Ahren by saying that the United Nations only partially relies on the Gaza Health Ministry, which was historically run by Hamas. But it still gets some of its numbers from there. How much?
News organizations such as The Washington Post and CNN have been reporting on the Palestinian death toll in a causal vacuum. What should be reported is that the deaths are the responsibility of Hamas, which is committing the double war crime of targeting civilians with their missiles, and using their women and children as human shields. In addition, there are credible reports of Hamas killing members of Fatah, the supposedly moderate partner in the recently formed “unity government” for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
A couple of Washington Post articles point to the complexity of the issue. The first of two July 21st articles covered the terrorist activities within the tunnels proceeding from Gaza into Israeli soil, and the second discussed the rising Palestinian death toll. It was a choose-your-own-adventure: pick whichever side of the Palestinian-Israeli debate you’re on and proceed.
One might think that the first Post story of the two could have at least informed the second, given their close proximity. According to Washington Post writer Terrence McCoy, “…a Palestinian militia document obtained by Al-Monitor said the objective of the underground network was ‘to surprise the enemy and strike it a deadly blow that doesn’t allow a chance for survival or escape or allow him a chance to confront and defend itself.’”
The latter article focuses on the death toll of average Palestinians, which now stands at more than 500. Little mention was made of terror tactics by the Palestinians. It is as if McCoy’s story doesn’t exist.
“The number of Palestinians seeking refuge with the United Nations also rose overnight, growing to at least 85,000 people now living in 67 shelters, mostly at schools, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency said Monday,” reported the Post. “The United Nations also said a preliminary review in Gaza found that more than 72 percent of those killed were civilians, not militants, and include large numbers of women and children. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs said the high numbers of children and noncombatants raises ‘concern about respect for the principle of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law.’” Who is aiding the UN in compiling these figures—Palestinian officials, or objective observers? We now know the answer—it’s both, and since its “preliminary” and from the Gaza ministry source, these figures are suspect.
A citizen blogger went through Al Jazeera’s list of names of the deceased, and found that approximately 82 percent were male, and a plurality were in their 20s. And that is not atypical. Consider Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal, who wrote that “at the height of the so-called  al-Aqsa Intifada” 2.8% of those killed were female. “To be female is a fairly reliable indicator of being a noncombatant,” wrote Stephens in 2008. “… If Israel had been guilty of indiscriminate violence against Palestinians, the ratio of male-to-female fatalities would not have been 35-1.”
Steven Stotsky of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), who went to the same Al Jazeera website, captured the demographics of those killed between July 7 and July 14. “Media coverage often parrots the line fed by Gazan authorities that ‘most of the casualties are civilians’ despite the well-established propensity of Gazan authorities to exaggerate the proportion of civilian casualties,” he writes.
“Sami Abu Zohri, a Hamas spokesman, called the Israeli offensive in Shijaiyah ‘a massacre’ and ‘a war crime,’” reported the Post. This is reminiscent of the so-called Jenin massacre of 2002, which even the UN acknowledged was a fabrication, and a history of other exaggerated claims by Palestinians that serve their short term interest of gaining public sympathy while Israel is condemned.
Even Secretary of State John Kerry sees through this type of propaganda, while most of the media apparently can’t. Asked by Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday whether the U.S. is “comfortable” with “Israeli actions thus far,” Secretary Kerry said, “The fact is that Hamas uses civilians as shields, and they fire from a home, and draw the fire into the home, precisely to elicit the kind of question you just asked.”
Facts like these should make it into the Post’s and other news outlets’ reporting.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Trevor Loudon LIVE Tonight 8pm ET Interview by Denise Simon re. The Enemies Within, on Sovereignty Unbound
Trevor Loudon will be interviewed tonight (Monday, 8pm ET) by Denise and Bobbi of PRN Radio Tuesday evening’s Denise and Bobbi. Denise Simon is a contributor to Gulag Bound and Stand Up America.
We will explore the latest advances of the enemy: Barack Obama and his neo-Marxist, New World Order globalist comrades. 8pm ET (5pm PT) tonight.
Trevor Loudon is an acclaimed political researcher and activist who has written the best-selling “Enemies Within” series of books, published by Pacific Freedom Foundation. His latest project is with IndieGoGo, seeking support and contributions for a world-class documentary exposing “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.” You can donate here.
The Enemies Within zooms in on the best kept secret of modern politics. Almost no one is aware of the fact that fewer than 20,000 U.S. communists, socialists and extreme progressives are able to influence the politicians, and even write the laws that control the lives of over 300 million Americans.
The Team needs a minimum of $100,000 to get started and will receive some matching funds. Our full budget is $400,000. This production will take about 1 year from start to completion. It will take thousands of man hours for research, filming, and distribution.
Trevor Loudon is a grassroots investigator and activist. The establishment and news outlets do not want to report what Trevor is going to expose. The establishment does not like to fund films that do not fit their narrative. It will be difficult raising the funds to make this film, but it will not be hard to get the film out to the people.
LIVE: Listen via the Web, via Skype, your phone, or the player of your choice:
Chat during the program at Patriot Radio Network or at the BlogTalkRadio side.
Forum: What Should Israel Do About Gaza?
The Watcher’s Council
Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: What Should Israel Do About Gaza?
The Independent Sentinel: Israel should finish the job now while Hamas has few supporters in the Arab world. They need to obliterate the tunnels and the missiles. Then they should go back home but monitor any shipments going into Gaza.
It’s a blessing that Morsi is gone.
Simply Jews: What happens the day after Hamas is destroyed?
Unfortunately, we may not see that day anytime soon. Our government is not up to sacrifice lives of hundreds of soldiers required to smoke out the terrorists from under the center of the Gaza City, which will be the price once the fighting in the confines of the city really starts.
Or should Hamas be destroyed or just disarmed, if that’s possible?
In the ideal world Hamas should be destroyed, in a less ideal – disarmed. In our world, neither will happen, due to (see above). It will be helpful as well to read this;
I am sorry to say that it is all true.
What should Israel’s strategy towards Hamas/Fatah be?
Trying to bolster the latter in every situation that will harm the former. For example, if freeing prisoners: leave the Hamas ones in prison. Any relief of restrictions goes to the latter – leaving the former in the mud. But all of this – publicly, with lots of coverage. Encourage good behavior so that all can see it.
What strategy should America support?
The one agreed in the privacy between the two sides and not the one blurted via “accidentally” operating mikes to the media, totally not agreed by the other side. As it more and more frequently happens lately.
What is most likely to occur there?
Nothing essentially new. Same old. Another year or two of relative calm, followed by a new round of strife.
Sorry for being so pessimistic.
JoshuaPundit: There are two things you hear said a lot about this situation, usually by genuinely stupid politicians or equally stupid think tank inhabitants. The first is the trophe that ‘there is no military solution.’ The second is to say there is a major difference between Hamas and Fatah.
Actually, a military solution would be the only one that would work. And the dime’s worth of difference between Hamas and Fatah,the difference between ‘acceptable’ terrorists and ‘unacceptable’ terrorists has faded to nothingness because of the unity agreement between the two and their coordinated strategy in the Third Intifada.
It should be apparent by now that anything Israel does to defend itself is now going to be subject to criticism by the usual suspects, which now unfortunately includes the Obama regime. That should be apparent to anyone following the news of President Obama’s trying to rescue Hamas by demanding Israel abide by an unconditional ceasefire…while he and Qatar and the EU fund them.
Israel is in the same position with Obama as they were with France’s DeGaulle on the eve of the Six Day War.Since anything they do short of committing suicide is going to get the same reaction, they have little to lose.
There is a solution to Gaza. It involves Israel (1) destroying Hamas utterly by whatever means necessary (2) Annexing Gaza (3) removing most of the Arab population either to Area A, the reichlet of Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas or to UNRWA refugee camps outside Israeli territory and (4) Gradually repopulating Gaza with Jews and watching it become Singapore or Hong Kong instead of an Islamo-fascist swamp.
Every poll indicates that Israel’s population overwhelmingly supports defeating Hamas once and for all.There really is no choice.
At the same time, the behavior of Abbas and Fatah have shown that a similar solution has to be coordinated with them. Israel needs to delineate its borders unilateral and enforce them. Annex Area C and the Jordan Valley where the populations are overwhelmingly Jewish as well as whatever strategic areas of Areas A and B Israel determines it wishes to control. Cede the rest of Area A to Abbas as his little reichlet, and move all Jews outside the new borders to Israeli territory and all Arab non-Israeli citizens to ‘Palestine’. Endgame, and as the divorce becomes final, a warning: let Abbas and Fatah know that any aggressive action, including lawfare will involve severe consequences. And follow through on it.
Peace comes from victory. And after all of the ‘sacrifices for peace’ written in Jewish blood forced on Israel since the Oslo debacle, I think the Israeli people would support this over these constant wars of attrition that grow more costly each time. Enough of the balagan gadol.
The Razor: Unfortunately Israelis don’t have the stomach for permanently fixing the problem in Gaza and the West Bank: Ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from both areas and forcing them into refugee camps in Jordan or Egypt or wherever else the locals will put up with them. It’s not that Israel couldn’t survive the heat from the outside world; I believe the average Israeli doesn’t have the conscience to do it. Contrary to what the Europeans and many on the Left here in the US believe, the Jews are a moral people. It would be difficult for them to accept the morality of a campaign of trucking the Palestinians out of their homes in Gaza and the West Bank to the border crossings in Egypt and Jordan. But morality and political stability are two mutually exclusive domains.
Barring such a moral turn, the only viable solution I’ve seen is the “Shock the Casbah” strategy described here: http://www.the-american-interest.com/garfinkle/2014/07/24/why-is-this-gaza-war-different-from-all-other-gaza-wars/. In a nutshell, it means negotiating a final settlement with the PA, but it’s a longshot as Garfinkle notes, “because it requires a boldness of vision and leadership in Israel, among the Palestinians, and in the United States, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia that is simply not available.” I believe Netanyahu is bold, but he has no counterpart on the PA side, and definitely lacks a bold leader here in the United States. So I doubt that will happen.
At this point I don’t see an end to the violence in Gaza, just a lot more muddling through. If Hamas can be destroyed the Israelis should do it. It’s on the ropes with an unfriendly Egypt behind it and it’s Iranian patron too busy in Syria and Iraq to give them much notice. Of course there can always be worse in Gaza. Look at Isis in Northern Iraq…
Ask Marion: There really is no Palestinian State. They have continually failed to lay the groundwork for a viable homeland and the continual jockeying over the two state solution exists to placate International opinion.
It would be nice to say, just disarm Hamas and everything will be fine, but in reality the only way to peace is for Israel to destroy them. Even after years for war in the Middle East, Americans are generally clueless about what is going on there, where the borders are or even where most of the countries in the Middle East are and they certainly have no clue as to the minutia.
Operation Protective Edge continues to move toward its goals while the Hamas system of complex and advanced military infrastructure tunnels is being realized beneath them. Israel can and I believe has the ability to reach their immediate goal of destroying this tunnel system that has been constructed, subduing rocket fire and leave Gaza… establishing a couple of years of calm and normalcy. But if Hamas is not destroyed, this is a temporary solution… until the next round. As Netanyahu has pointed out, Hamas breaks all cease fires and agreements.
Video: Netanyahu: Hamas Has Broken All Cease Fires We Have Agreed To
But why wait for a next time? Israel should eliminate the Hamas threat completely right now during Operation Protective Edge, including reoccupying Gaza and destroying every rocket, gun, bullet, armament, as well as their factories. Israel has already mobilized into Gaza and Hamas has been weakened by these first few weeks of fighting. Plus, maybe the most important difference is the Sinai factor which has not presented itself before and could disappear again in the future. There has been a military rapprochement with the Egyptians since al-Sisi overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood. Currently, Egypt is completely in Israel’s court. Having their backs up against the wall Hamas leaders and fighters will not be able to escape into the Sinai, the only place they could go in the past in a final Israeli assault scenario. The Egyptians will cut them down if they try to enter their territory. They will be forced to shoot it out with the IDF. So now is the time. Israel certainly is not going to get any help from the U.S. while Obama is our president and who knows what the future will bring?!? Funny how that border word seems to vary from situation to situation in President Obama’s mind… and actions!!
Well, there you have it.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it.
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