Monthly Archives: August 2010

Coming to the aid of one of our own here at ACBlog #SupportGregWHoward

30 August 2010

UPDATE: PLEASE FLOOD @TWITTER & EXECS AT TWITTER.COM TO STOP THE CYBERBULLYING OF @GREGWHOWARD!

CEO OF TWITTER: EVAN WILLIAMS TWITTER NAME: @ev & BLOG : http://evhead.com/

HEAD OF SAFETY & TRUST AT TWITTER: DEL HARVEY TWITTER NAME: @delbius


Twitter: Haven for Cyberbullying, Pornography, Racism

by Greg W. Howard
from his blog, GregWHoward

Twitter bills itself as “without a doubt the best way to share and discover what is happening right now.” However, it is rapidly becoming the best place to cyberbully, post pornography, and engage in the nastiest and most vulgar speech possible, all with impunity. Despite growing protests from long-established users, Twitter continues to officially turn a deaf ear to the growing outrage.

In recent months, a disturbing trend has been emerging where a small percentage of users have grown increasingly bold in their attacks on other users. These attacks may include outright slander, libel and defamation. At times, the attacks contain overt references to sexual or other bodily function activity in the most graphic and vulgar of terms. The attackers will also resort to posting links within messages appearing to be news and opinion tweets in which the links go to graphic pornographic or scatalogic images. Finally, the last method of attack so to create faked retweets of messages from users in which overtly racial (including use of the “N” word), pornographic, or graphic sexual activity is falsely attributed to the target of the attack.

Twitter does not have any stated minimum age for users in its Terms of Service, unlike Facebook and other services. Therefore, not only are the attacks being seen by all users of Twitter, they are being seen in many cases by users under the age of 18. Video games and movies contain ratings that bar inappropriate material to minors. Twitter has become a free-fire zone where nearly anything goes. It should be rated NC-17 based on the content that is appearing more and more frequently. Users of Twitter may expect to see the “N” word used with disturbing regularity as a means to attack another. Users should also prepare themselves to hear discussions and see images of explosive diarrhea, images of gay orgies imbedded in tweets supposedly about White House Easter egg hunts, see open and graphically vulgar sexual activity being offered or used as abuse, and anything else that may come to mind of the cyberbullies.

Twitter’s official stance is to do nothing unless the activity falls within a very narrow range of proscribed activities. In essence, Twitter condones the activity and makes no effort to control it or shield users from the attacks of other users.

The most common targets of the attacks in our investigation have been those who have strong conservative political views and who have high follower counts. These individuals may be singled out or attacked in groups using any or all of the chosen methods in combination. Intially the attacks were limited to a very small group of people, including conservative celebrities, but they have fanned out to rank and file users in random vicious attacks.

Reports may be made to Twitter about the activity, but with very rare exceptions, the person reporting the activity will receive the following stock reply:

Hello,Twitter provides a communication service. As a policy, we do not mediate content or intervene in disputes between users. Users are allowed to post content, including potentially inflammatory content, provided that they do not violate the Twitter Terms of Service and Rules (name calling is not a violation).For additional information regarding harassment and violent threats, please refer to the following support page:http://help.twitter.com/forums/26257/entries/15794 If a violent threat is posted in the future, please let us know, and send the status link. For instructions on how to find a Tweet’s status link, please refer to this support page:

http://help.twitter.com/forums/10711/entries/80586

Additionally, Twitter is an opt-in service that allows its users to choose what content they receive. If you have a Twitter account, in addition to un-following a user (which will stop that user’s Tweets from being delivered to your timeline), you also can block the user. Blocking will prevent a user from following you on Twitter or replying to you. You can block someone by following these instructions:

http://help.twitter.com/entries/117063

1. Log in to Twitter.com.
2. Visit the profile page of the person you’d like to block.
3. In the right-hand sidebar under the “Actions” section, click block.

You will see an “Undo” link on the profile you blocked in case you change your mind
Twitter Trust and Safety

In summary, Twitter’s only solution is for the user to block incoming messages from the offender. This would work well if Twitter were a simple chatroom or Facebook method of communication. Blocking does not prevent the attacker from posting anything they want about another user to the public timeline. So, Twitter’s solution is for the person offended and being attacked to stop seeing the attacks, but every other user of Twitter will continue to see it, and that is the whole purpose of the attacks: to place inflammatory, racial, sexual, pornographic or other material into the public timeline for all to see in order to harass or defame another.

To compound matters, most users of Twitter filter the public timeline by using “hashtags.” A hashtag is the # symbol followed by a short string of letters or numbers by which the user can filter out everything that does not contain this hashtag designation. For example, conservatives on Twitter tend to use #tcot (Top Conservatives On Twitter), #ocra (Organized Conservative Resistance Alliance), and #ucot (United Conservatives On Twitter). There are hundreds if not thousands of other popular hashtags throughout Twitter where people find topics of interest to them where they can read and post their ideas.

By posting to hashtags, the attackers are able to make sure their tweets are being seen by a large and focused audience. Blocking an attacker does not in any way stop the tweets from appearing in the hashtag searches. In fact, the attackers make use of the hashtags to target their attacks on a person to the friends and followers of their selected targeted user.

Twitter’s official responses are basically, “This is how it is. If you don’t like it, you can leave.” Interesting approach by a company supposedly supplying a service where people of like minds can meet up and discuss ideas.

Not satisfied with Twitter’s official responses to the numerous complaints being processed by them about this recent uptick in activity, direct tweets were sent to Evan Williams (@ev), Twitter’s CEO, and to Del Harvey (@delbius), head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Team. These messages contained links to offensive messages with a request they personally look at the material and see if this is what they wanted Twitter to become. Mr. Williams never responded. Ms. Harvey only responded by saying publicly that she would look into the matter. However, Ms. Harvey also directly responded that Twitter does not mediate content. This was a collosal mistake, as the pace of the attacks moved to a whole new dimension and became more widespread.

Twitter will have to re-evaluate the standards of acceptable behavior if it wishes to survive with this disturbing change in the way Twitter is used. It is far from a family environment. In fact, it would be considered an offensive place by most persons at this point.

What can the users of Twitter do? There are several options. They can continue to tweet and try to ignore the increasingly vulgar environment being created. They can simply leave to other services where blocking an offender actually serves the intended purpose, such as Facebook. Or, Twitter users can demand action by contacting Twitter and its officials in every way possible.

We hope that Twitter will realize its current policies are inadequate to providing the environment they wish to portray they provide. We are not hopeful at this stage. Twitter officials were given 48-hour notice of this article and the material to be presented. They never replied to request for comment or clarification.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Greg on April 4th of this year. As of today, Aug.30, 2010, the cyberbullying and criminal harassment of @GregWHoward has taken on epic proportions. We, here at AlwaysCatholicBlog never leave anyone behind. Greg was a gentleman to offer his writing expertise for the benefit of AlwaysCatholic. We are asking our readers to do the right thing and be the Good Samaritan. Contact the aforementioned Twitter execs to help stop these criminals from continuing their assault on Greg and his family. We ask you to follow @GregWHoward on Twitter, to use the hashtag #SupportGregWHoward as a symbol to stop cyberbullying on Twitter.  Sample Tweet: RT@commonpatriot #SupportGregWHoward #SupportGregWHoward #SupportGregWHoward #SupportGregWHoward #SupportGregWHoward #trending. Please RT Greg’s tweets concerning this problem and most importantly, pray for Greg & his family.

Remember, today it’s Greg…tomorrow it may be you…

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Sofia


UPDATE: PLEASE FLOOD @TWITTER & EXECS AT TWITTER.COM TO STOP THE CYBERBULLYING OF @GREGWHOWARD!

CEO OF TWITTER: EVAN WILLIAMS TWITTER NAME: @ev & BLOG : http://evhead.com/

HEAD OF SAFETY & TRUST AT TWITTER: DEL HARVEY TWITTER NAME: @delbius



GlennBeck has a dream too….

29 August 2010

An open letter to Glenn Beck:

Dear Glenn,

I want to thank you for your courage and for your faith in God that showed you the path of your vocation. Please know that there is one Catholic who will defend you and pray for you EVERYDAY…

I watched two movies this week to prepare for the Rally, (unfortunately could not attend live but participated live online) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with Jimmy Stewart and Meet John Doe with Gary Cooper. These characters are both very different at first glance, but in fact they are a combination of all of us… The thing however, that they have in common is restoring honor. Jeff Smith in Mr. Smith, wants honor restored to our form of government. Mr. Doe, however, wants honor restored to each of our souls, starting with himself.

Glenn, you are the symbol of our Jeff Smith and John Doe. You are the man who thinks that it can’t get worse and that maybe there is no way out. As you have told us there was a point in your life when you found yourself at the bottom. You were in the fetal position on the floor. You were at the lowest point in your life. August 28, 2010, you showed us that the path to the highest point–the path to our God is possible.

Thank you Glenn Beck…for calling for the restoration of honor in our lives, for praying to our Creator unceasingly and for never giving up…

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Sofia Guerra

Restoring Honor Rally- August 28, 2010

NewZeal.blogspot.com

At the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, hundreds of thousands of Americans from all backgrounds came together on this day to restore honor to a great nation. This is a day that we will remember for the rest of our lives and will go down in history as the day America took a turn back towards it’s founding principles.

Complete Restoring Honor Rally available at YouTube:
Suscribe at RestoringHonor828 Channel


Video of The Day
August 28, 1963- Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream”


Shorn Canary and the Police….via Left-Footer Blog

21 August 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
by @Christomicro

Shorn Canary and the Police

I arrived In Poland In July 2005, armed with a copy of some phrase-book-guide, perhaps the “Rough Guide” – I don’t remember. What I do remember is the advice it gave about dealings with the Polish police – don’t smile, don’t laugh, don’t try to be friendly. If you do, you could get into serious trouble.
Having registered my presence and address in Poland at the local town hall, I thought I had done everything necessary. A few days later, two very polite, friendly, policemen called at my house. Could they talk to me? Just routine.

Of course.

I made them coffee, and they asked to see my UK passport and Polish papers. Then the questions.

Why are you living in Poland?

I work here.

Is Poland as nice as England?

Nicer.

Are you English?

No, British. I’m a Celt, part Scottish, part Irish, part Welsh, and a little English.

Shorn canary!

I beg your pardon?

Shorn canary – Scottish actor – James Bond. Are you like him?

Sean Connery – yes, he’s Scottish/Irish.

And what do you think of Polish women?

Very beautiful. I now say, “Very Catholic”.

Satisfied, they left, after enquiring about the cost of English lessons.

A few days later, driving on a lonely local road, a police car came towards me. Its blue light started flashing and there was a quick blip from the siren. I stopped. The police car stopped.

“Please, what have I done?”

“Shorn canary!” from the two policeman, and big grins.

Love Poland.

Christopher Wright is a married Roman Catholic father, grandfather. Teacher of English in Catholic school in Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland. Amateur flautist, saxophonist, versifier. He authors “Left-Footer Blog” and can be found on Twitter @Christomicro.

Editor’s Note: How much do you love this blog??? Please comment there. As majorem Dei gloriam, Sofia



New York Archbishop Offers To Mediate In Mosque Dispute

19 August 2010

19-August-2010 — Catholic World News Brief

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has volunteered to act as a mediator in an increasingly bitter debate over plans to build a mosque near the “Ground Zero” site of the 9/11 terrorist attack.

The archbishop said that he was hoping for a compromise between advocates and opponents of the Islamic-center construction project. He alluded to the success of Pope John Paul II in forging a compromise over the presence of a Carmelite convent at Auschwitz. The late Pontiff had suggested moving the convent to a site somewhat removed from the Nazi death camp. Suggesting a similar option for New York, Archbishop Dolan said: “It worked there; might work here.”


Michelle Obama's Vacation Budget Could Feed a Family of Four for 57 Years

18 August 2010
Posted by Kim Conte

The Stir: a CafeMomBlog

Michelle Obama usually manages to steer clear of controversy. But her expensive trip to southern Spain last week — with daughter Sasha and several family friends — is really pissing people off.

Though the First Lady covered her own personal vacation expenses (hotel room, shopping, sightseeing, matching mother-daughter sundresses, etc.), critics are irate over the public cost of her security, support staff, and Air Force Two flight there and back. In fact, some members of the media are estimating that Mrs. Obama’s vacation will end up costing taxpayers a staggering $250,000!

Can you think of a better way to spend a quarter of a million dollars?

Most would agree that Mrs. Obama should be able to take a lavish European vacation with family and friends if she chooses and can afford it. Rather, it’s the exorbitant cost to taxpayers — who are already facing tough economic times and soaring rates of unemployment — as well as the fact that her trip did not have an official agenda that’s ruffling the feathers of critics and supporters alike.

A quarter of a million dollars can go a long, long way. Here are a few ideas for how that money could have been better spent:

  • Food banks serving folks hit hard financially by the BP oil spill estimate that they can feed a family of four one meal for only $1. So, let’s do the math: Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars would buy 250,000 meals — which is enough to feed a family of four three meals a day for 57 years.
  • The approaching hurricane season reminds us that disaster relief ain’t cheap; but $250,000 can make a dent in costs. According to the American Red Cross, this hefty chunk of change could cover the cost for 166 families to receive all of the Red Cross emergency services — including five nights in a shelter with meals, bulk distribution, and client casework.
  • Here’s an issue that’s near and dear to Mrs. Obama’s heart: school lunch. According to nutrition experts, it would cost about $5 to serve one child a healthy school lunch. In other words, the cost of a Spanish vacation is worth 50,000 wholesome meals for kids.

Do you think Michelle Obama’s vacation to Spain was too extravagant?

Editors’s Note:     Hmmmmmm……..

H/T to Christian Conservative @ActivistMommy for this gem of a blogpiece!


Father Z has the answer…about Ground Zero

17 August 2010

16 August 2010

A counter-proposal for the Mosque at Ground Zero

CATEGORY: Saints: Stories & Symbols, The future and our choices — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf


I have been following the debate over the building of a mosque at Ground Zero in Manhattan.

I have a counter proposal.

Let us build a chapel dedicated to Sts. Nunilo and Alodia next to the mosque.

Saints Nunilo and Alodia were a pair of 9th c. virgin martyrs in Huesca, Spain. They were born to a Muslim father and Christian mother. However, they chose their mother’s Christianity.

And so during the Emirate of Abd ar-Rahman II it came to pass that in these little girls were first put in a brothel and then were executed as apostates according to Sharia law.

Their feast day is 22 October.

I think their relics are in the Cathedral of Pamplona, having been translated a couple times.


So, what do you think? Perhaps this would put things into perspective for the current braindead politician of the hour, Michael Bloomberg, King (oops-Mayor) of New York City? I’m just sayin’… Ad majorem Dei gloriam, Sofia

Breaking News: Muslim leaders to abandon plans for Ground Zero Mosque

16 August 2010

Insiders say Muslim spiritual leaders behind the controversial initiative are considering giving up on the former World Trade Center location, in a gesture of appeasement.

By Shlomo Shamir
Haaretz.com
August 16, 2010

After weeks of heated debate over plans for an Islamic community center near Ground Zero – the site of the 9/11 attacks on New York – it seems Muslim leaders will soon back down, agreeing to move to a new site.

The decision follows a high-profile campaign against the project that included advertisements on New York buses showing images of the burning Twin Towers, an iconic landmark razed when al-Qaida terrorists flew packed passenger planes into them in 2001. The New York Republican party is also said to be planning a hostile television campaign.

The site of a planned mosque is shown two blocks from the World Trade Center - Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 Photo by: AP

Sources in New York said on Monday that Muslim religious and business leaders will announce plans to abandon the project in the next few days.

New York Governor David Patterson said last weekend that Muslim leaders had rejected outright his proposal tto swap the site in for another in Manhattan.

But several people familiar with the debate among New York’s Islamic activists now claim that the leaders are convinced abandoning the site is preferable to unleashing a wave of bitterness towards Muslims.

They also hope the move will be seen as a show of sensitivity to families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and to the American public generally.

Another factor in the apparent climbdown is a lack of funds to pay for construction of the center, estimated to cost a hundred million dollars. Backers hope moving it will lead to a wave of support, accompanied by cash donations.

It is also possible that the decision was also influenced by comments made by U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday, in which he appeared to reverse an earlier show of support.

Obama said that when he went on record backing the center, he meant only that it was the right of every religious group to establish its own places of worship – but he did not intend to justify building the center specifically at Ground Zero .

Posted by Sean Norris  for Always Catholic Blog. Sean can be found at his blog, A Common Patriot Speaks Out and at AlwaysCatholicBlog. Follow Sean on Twitter @commonpatriot


VOTE on Nov 2nd, your life may just depend on it!

15 August 2010

Thanks to CreativeMinorityReport for getting this vid up quick!! Great job… I happened to see it via BattleBeadsBlog. I agree with Mary at BattleBeadsBlog this needs to be shown as much as possible until November 2nd, Election Day. We put these people in office, fellow Catholics, our responsibility to get ’em out!! Thanks to the Brothers Archbold (Creative Minority Report) for always having their finger on the pulse and to Mary at Battlebeads Blog for having the sharp eye.

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Sofia

Breaking News: BOMB THREAT AT LOURDES on Feast of Assumption! via BattleBeadsBlog

15 August 2010

Pilgrims evacuated after bomb threat at Lourdes
Thousands of people, many disabled or ailing, were at French shrine.

PARIS — Thousands of people, many disabled or ailing, were evacuated Sunday from the shrine at Lourdes in southern France after a bomb threat on the Catholic holy day of Assumption.

Some 30,000 pilgrims were at the site in the foothills of the Pyrenees late morning when Lourdes police received a threat saying a bomb would hit the site Sunday afternoon, said shrine spokesman Pierre Adias.

Police ordered everyone evacuated, and explosives experts were sent to scour the area. The pilgrims were told to leave just as the midday Mass was meant to begin. “The shrine is currently empty,” Adias told The Associated Press by telephone.

No other information was immediately available about the source or nature of the threat.

Live coverage of Sunday’s services on the website of TV Lourdes was not available, for reasons “independent of our will,” according to a message on its home page.

The Aug. 15 holiday sees a particularly large influx of pilgrims at Lourdes, reputed for its healing powers. Some pilgrims came to this year’s ceremonies in wheelchairs, others supported by loved ones, in images shown on French television.

Assumption marks the heavenly assumption of the Virgin Mary, and is a public holiday in France and several other countries.

The Roman Catholic shrine at Lourdes has a special meaning for the suffering, many of whom believe that its spring water has the power to heal and even work miracles.

More…

This post is from @AncientSoul via her blog, BattlebeadsBlog


Lisa Graas has got it going on…& she's not afraid to say it!

13 August 2010

Why Catholics Should Oppose the Building of a Mosque at Ground Zero


by Lisa Graas
2010 August 11

Sister Joan Chittister asks at the leftist National Catholic Reporter:
How could it possibly be a problem that U.S. Muslims want to build a mosque two blocks away from the site of this greatest foreign attack on U.S. soil? Why is there such an outcry against what is designed to be a monument to peace and reconciliation at a place where the terror of a few had set out to destroy both. After all, they are Americans. Can’t they build wherever they want?
The issue of the building of a mosque at Ground Zero has prompted much debate that is centered around questions about religious freedom and sensitivity to the values of others. It has the unfortunate effect of pitting one set of values against another. Sister Joan is attempting to make peace on the issue, but she falls far short in her understanding of the big picture and, as a result, rejects the truly peaceful solution to this problem. There are several reasons why Catholics should oppose the building of a mosque at Ground Zero, and sensitivity to the feelings of others happens to be among them.
The Muslim View of Lying
America is a bastion of freedom in an oppressive world which is one of the main reasons the World Trade Center was attacked. In fact, the world is an oppressive world largely because of Islam. The Muslims who attacked on 9-11 intentionally used our freedoms, which are inconsistent with Islam, to receive pilot training on American soil and other means to prepare for the attack. They lied to their American civilian trainers about their plans in order to receive this training, but many people do not realize that they were living Islam, not rejecting it, when they told those lies. Telling lies to advance Islam is acceptable to Muslims. It is within their moral code to concoct fabrications as a means toward bringing about world domination by Islam. For this reason, one must begin consideration of this issue by understanding that claims of the Muslim community that the mosque at Ground Zero is all about good intentions are not based in reality. We must not believe the lies of those who seek to advance Islam.

Click here to read more…

Lisa Graas is a Catholic convert and mom of four who blogs on U.S./Kentucky politics and Catholic culture. Lisa is a pre-emminent Catholic blogger and we are so proud to have her here on ACBlog. Lisa’s Blog is http://www.lisagraas.com and is on Twitter @LisaGraas and on Facebook. Lisa also is a regular blogger at David Horowitz’s News Real Blog.

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