Computer Issues Open Thread

Cascading catastrophe
LGF • Views: 49,308
Image via Shutterstock

I’m putting up this open thread because I’m currently trapped in a nightmarish flood of cascading computer problems, that started when an external drive suddenly stopped responding. I’ll get it figured out, I’m sure, but until then here’s a thread for whatever.

The Little Green Footballs Front Page Gets a Major Makeover

LGF • Views: 41,922
Image via Shutterstock

I’m pleased to announce that I finally completed the redesign of the Little Green Footballs front page! The old, bloggy design with complete posts scrolling down the page one after another was long overdue for a reboot; it had been essentially unchanged for more than 10 years.

The new design emphasizes graphics much more, and lets you see more articles easily. It also lets you easily check on which articles have active comment sections, with auto-updated comment counters that have popups showing an excerpt of the last posted comment. I’ve redesigned many of the graphic elements to bring them more in line with the new, more modern aesthetic.

And of course, it’s fully mobile-friendly and automatically adapts to small screen sizes.

Right now the redesign is only for the front page, but I’ll be working on the rest of the site as well to make it consistent with the new look.

Hope you like it! I’m excited — it’s always fun to take a design that’s grown kind of stale and make it fresh again.

Announcing the New LGF RSS Feed Reader

News at your fingertips
LGF • Views: 27,090
Image via Shutterstock

We have a new toy today, for all LGF readers to play with: a shiny new RSS feed reader. And there’s a button at the top of the right sidebar that will take you there.

This new page takes the place of the RSS feeds widget that’s been in our left sidebar for a long time, and it has some major advantages; you can now see a whole page worth of news items for each feed in the list, and if there are images included in the feed you’ll see those as well.

If you click the text that says “RSS feeds” on the top line, the page will reload; and every time you reload the page it randomly chooses one of the feeds to display. Feeds are cached for 30 minutes, but if you want to make sure you’re looking at the most current version of a feed you can hit the “Reload” button.

The code uses some Javascript magic to automatically reflow the feed items if you resize the window, fitting as many as possible within the window’s current viewport. (I spent more time than I’ll ever admit resizing the window over and over this afternoon just to see the cool animation effect as the news items shuffle around for the best fit.)

Right now, there’s a preset list of several dozen popular news sites and blogs to choose from, but possible future enhancements include allowing registered users to set up their own list of feeds.

Enjoy! (And be informed.)

Audio: In Which I Appear on Bob Cesca’s Podcast to Discuss You Know Who

The Chuck Johnson epitaph
LGF • Views: 28,965

MP3 Audio

Also see

Help Support Little Green Footballs by Donating at Our GoFundMe Page

The LGF fundraising drive
LGF • Views: 21,916

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, and finally got around to it — we now have a page at GoFundMe where you can donate any amount you like to help support LGF, so we can continue providing you with great content and services like our user-submitted LGF Pages. Here’s the link, at which there are more details and a fundraising pitch: Little Green Footballs Fundraiser - GoFundMe.

There’s also a badge at the top of our right sidebar to quickly get to the same page.

Predictably, some of our right wing friends are getting themselves worked up over this and spewing insults; for example, John Nolte from Breitbart “News:”

And of course, the Ginger Avenger also noticed:

So if you need a good reason to donate (besides the fact that it will help pay our server costs), keep in mind that it will make people like John Nolte and Chuck C. Johnson very sad. (Because it will help us continue calling them out for their right wing insanity.)

Thank you very much in advance for anything you can contribute!

Important Note to Journalists Writing About Pamela Geller: Please Stop Calling LGF a “Conservative Site”

In which I express my irritation at false impressions
LGF • Views: 26,416

Tonight I want to draw your attention to two good pieces on hate group leader Pamela Geller, but even though I agree with the basic direction of these articles I want to make a separate point, and I’ll quote the paragraphs that I have issues with.

First, Alan Feuer in the New York Times: Pamela Geller, Organizer of Muhammad Cartoon Contest, Trumpets Results.

After getting her start in new media as a frequent commenter on the conservative website Little Green Footballs, Ms. Geller, who once worked on the business side of The New York Observer and The Daily News, began taking on issues relating to Muslims and Islam after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Second, Margaret Hartmann at New York Magazine: What You Need to Know About Pamela Geller.

Her activism was sparked by 9/11. She said she “felt guilty” that she knew little about those who attacked the country, so she started studying Islamic extremism and commenting on the conservative site Little Green Footballs (Charles Johnson, who runs the blog, has denounced her).

Again, I completely agree with the basic thrust of both of these articles, pointing out that Pamela Geller is driven by hatred of Muslims that goes far beyond any reasonable criticism.

But what do I have to do to get mainstream journalists to stop labeling Little Green Footballs as a “conservative site?” Seriously. All they have to do is read the front page to see that’s no longer remotely close to an accurate description, and it hasn’t been for many years now.

Yes, there was a time when this description was (sort of, with caveats) accurate, but that time has long passed.

Please, folks. I appreciate the mentions of LGF in these articles, but I don’t appreciate the out of date, misleading descriptions of what this site is about.

UPDATE at 5/6/15 10:12:49 am by Charles Johnson

Thanks to Margaret Hartmann for correcting her article: What You Need to Know About Pamela Geller.

A previous version of this post incorrectly identified Little Green Footballs as a conservative site. Charles Johnson notes that hasn’t been the case for many years. We regret the error.

No correction at the New York Times, although author Alan Feuer did apologize to me in an email and said he had a word limit that precluded adding any more detail.

GotNewsDotCom Identifies Wrong Woman as Wife of Garland, TX, Shooter

And the shooter, for a two-fer!
LGF • Views: 30,030

@ChuckCJohnson’s pitiful excuse for a news blog once again has flunked Journalism 101 by identifying the wrong woman as the wife of Nadir Soofi, one of the two gunmen shot dead in Garland, TX, Sunday.

The woman identified by GotNewsDotCom’s ace reporter Shannon Knutsen is in fact the wife of a man living in Birmingham, England, Abu Hussain Al-Britani.

Despite having no valid proof that Soofi, 34, was even married, here’s what Johnson’s GotNews published:

Wrong woman, wrong man

More: BREAKING, EXCLUSIVE: @GotNewsDotCom identifies wrong woman as wife of Garland, TX, shooter

It should come as no surprise that the usual RWNJs now take this travesty of reporting as the gospel truth and are harassing the owner of that Twitter account, plus anyone with a similar account name.

Knutsen’s reporting is wrong on multiple levels. Al-Britani was not one of the shooters. He’s still alive — in England. The woman referenced in the article is in fact his wife, though.

The real shooters, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were apparently both single and sharing an apartment in Phoenix. Simpson may have been following al-Britani’s Twitter account, but al-Britani is not Soofi, being alive and all.

But it’s Award Winning Journalism, folks!

Texas Gov. Abbott Falls For Right Wing Conspiracy Theory, Orders Texas Guard to ‘Monitor’ Planned Military Exercises

LGF • Views: 26,322

Alex Jones cultists have occupied Austin and taken over the governor’s mind. It should be emphasized that these orders have gone to the STATE Guard, not the Texas National Guard. The State Guard is an unpaid and usually unarmed (though officially sanctioned) volunteer militia.

I’ve noticed an interesting and rather bizarre back narrative in the uproar over this Jade Helm exercise. A lot of the alarmed citizens seem to be unaware that the US military has ever conducted exercises like this in the United States, or that its missiles, tanks, and other equipment have always been stationed, and periodically moved around, in this country. I know it is weird, but what other inference can you draw when people carry on about this being “unprecedented” or various kinds of equipment appearing “suddenly” in locales where it has in fact been visible for years? One conspiraloon spelled it out to me. She threw their standard claim at me that I was only “taking the government’s word for it” when I pointed out that Reese Air Force Base had conducted military training near Lubbock for almost 50 years.

The same propaganda technique, pretending that the familiar and routine is new and sinister, is very much on display in the similar conspiracist uproar over recent ammunition purchases by various federal agencies. Published records show that similar orders have been placed in past years for similar amounts, and this goes back as far as you care to go. Should our 50,000 Coast Guard personnel (who work for DHS) have to buy their own ammunition to maintain the required handgun proficiency? The IRS needs ammunition because some of its field agents are armed and guns are useless without practice. The necessity for this should be obvious to anyone who knows what hard core tax evaders are like.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is ordering the Texas State Guard to monitor a two-month long U.S. military exercise scheduled to be held in Bastrop County this summer. The move comes amid suspicions from some residents (and the Internet) about the motivations behind the training.

The exercises, designated Operation Jade Helm 15, will involve more than 1,200 soldiers, Marines and others between July 15 and September 15. The military says the exercise is intended to train personnel on acclimating to unfamiliar terrain and climates.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Lastoria, says the summer months will offer an ideal training climate.

“After driving around Texas all of two weeks ago logging in about 900 miles in less than 48 hours, I can see the terrain is very challenging and is going to make our soldiers sweat,” Lastoria said. “And sweating in peacetime is what we want because we want to reduce the bleeding in wartime.”

On Monday, dozens of people filled the Bastrop County Commissioners Court to voice concerns about the military exercises. Lastoria took a number of questions from people who suspect Jade Helm is something nefarious. Bastrop County resident Daniel DuCloux has some reservations about the training program.

“I think historically, it’s much more common for governments to be tyrannical and infringe on other’s rights,” DuCloux said. “So when you see a large military build-up like this, I think it’s our duty as citizens to question what’s going on and to find answers. I mean, if we don’t, then who will?”

More: Abbott Orders Texas Guard to ‘Monitor’ Planned Military Exercises


Overnight Open Thread

LGF • Views: 20,991

Here’s an open thread to discuss the terrible events in Baltimore or anything else.


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 Frank says:

This is Frank Zappa saying, Don't do speed. Speed turns you into your parents. -- this used to play OFTEN as a public service announcement(PSA) on radio station WHFS at 102.5 FM in bethesda,MD.USA during the early '70's. it was followed by a nearly inaudible whisper, "...but grass and acid are o.k.", which may have been frank, or one of the mothers.