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T_i_B

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,468

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Sheffield Wednesday 1 Sheffield United 0

THIS CITY IS OURS, THIS CITY IS OURS F**K OFF UNITED THIS CITY IS OURS

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17093412

The stupid is indeed strong with James Delingpole......

.....I would have posted this in the good reads forum, but it's not a "good read". It is in fact the most hilariously idiotic article I've read in a long time. Anyone would think that this is a parody but those of you aware of Delingpole will probably be aware of his long track record of loony drivel.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100137740/why-im-rooting-for-barack-obama/

Let's get one thing clear: Obama unquestionably ranks among the bottom five presidents in US history. In terms of sublime awfulness he's right up there with our late and extremely unlamented ex-PM Gordon Brown which is quite some doing, given that Brown singlehandedly wrought more destruction on his country than the Luftwaffe, Dutch Elm Disease, the South Sea Bubble, the Fire of London and the Black Death combined.

Agreed: the damage President Obama has done to the US economy with everything from Ben Bernanke's insane money-printing programme, to his cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, to his ban on deep-water drilling to his crony capitalism hand-outs to disaster zones like Solyndra to his persecution of companies like Gibson is incalculable. And, of course, if he gets a second term the damage he and his rag-bag of Marxist cronies at organisations like the Environmental Protection Agency manage to inflict on the US small businessman trying to make an honest buck will make his first term look like Calvin Coolidge on steroids.

So why do I think this would be preferable to a presidency under Mitt Romney? Simple. Because I've seen what happens, America, when you elect yet another spineless, yet ruthless, principle-free blow-with-the-wind, big government, crony-capitalist RINO squish. His name is Dave Cameron and trust me, the cure is far worse than the disease.

Astroturfing: what is it and why does it matter?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/08/what-is-astroturfing?CMP=twt_gu

Astroturfing is the attempt to create an impression of widespread grassroots support for a policy, individual, or product, where little such support exists. Multiple online identities and fake pressure groups are used to mislead the public into believing that the position of the astroturfer is the commonly held view.

Although usually associated with the internet, the practice has been widespread ever since newspaper editors first invented the letters page. Pick up any local paper around the time of an election and you will find multiple letters from "concerned residents of X" objecting to the disastrous policies of Y. Similarly, concerned residents often turn up on talk radio shows and even in campaign literature, although the latter can prove more dangerous, as Labour party activists posing as residents in Greenwich discovered a few years back.

To overcome these dangers, most astroturfing now takes place on the forums and comment sections of blogs and newspaper websites. Here, individual astroturfers can leave comments under numerous identities with little fear of discovery. Discovery does occur, however, and in 2008 one member of Boris Johnson's campaign team was caught posting comments on blogs critical of his boss without sufficiently concealing their identity. A few years later, another member of Johnson's campaign was found posing as a concerned Labour supporter trying to prevent Ken Livingstone from being the party's candidate for mayor.

None of these British examples comes close to the sort of operation seen in Russia. New forms of software enable any organisation with the funds and the know-how to conduct astroturfing on a far bigger scale than even the Kremlin could hope for. As reported by the Guardian, some big companies now use sophisticated "persona management software" to create armies of virtual astroturfers, complete with fake IP addresses, non-political interests and online histories. Authentic-looking profiles are generated automatically and developed for months or years before being brought into use for a political or corporate campaign. As the software improves, these astroturf armies will become increasingly difficult to spot, and the future of open debate online could become increasingly perilous.
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