Tag Archives: politics

Facebook Election Results

With all of the time, money and personnel poured into election polls, exit polls and guesswork, you’d think these analysts would figure out there has to be an easier way to predict the outcome of an election. Perhaps they should have just sat at home in their pajamas and kept an eye on Facebook. After all, the popular social site was pretty damn accurate at telling the fate of the candidates throughout the day yesterday.

Execs at Facebook claim that more than 12 million people clicked the “I Voted” button in their news feed Tuesday. This is more than twice as many as did the same thing in the last election. Facebook also claims that Page popularity predicted actual outcomes before the votes were even tallied. The company stated that “The Facebook political team’s initial snapshot of 98 House races shows that 74% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests. In the Senate, our initial snapshot of 19 races shows that 81% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests.”

If a politician has a strong wave of support on Facebook, it shows that they likely have a large number of supporters offline, as well. Being able to communicate and interact with your supporters during a campaign is crucial – and there’s no better place to do it than on the largest social platform on the web. Endorsements come in the form of Likes and comments on our Pages and Walls.

Did you become a fan of a political candidate on Facebook and then vote for them? Do you think we will see this trend continue to grow – perhaps with the next Presidential election?

Microsoft Helps GOP Reach Out to Americans

America deserves a Congress that respects the priorities of the people it serves. Sadly, they folks in Washington haven’t been listening to us all that much. America Speaking Out is your new opportunity to be heard. The hope is that this will bring about change in the way Congress works by having the citizens propose ideas for a new policy agenda. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat, a Republican or have no party affiliation at all. This site was create in the hopes that it will foster better communication between the U.S. government and the people of our country.

The GOP teamed up with Microsoft to develop the site. It will allow people to log on anytime they choose. There, you’ll be able to talk, blog or tweet about the issues that matter most to you, and let the Republicans know what the biggest priorities should be. California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy gave CNN an exclusive sneak peek at the site. “This is a new townhall mechanism — never used before. To me it’s revolutionary, because it allows the individual to have greater control and say. For too long, people think nobody in Washington listens to them. This starts listening across the country and lets them provide the idea, but also debate the idea,” McCarthy said.

You can log on to the site and create a profile to participate, choosing any name you would like to use (it doesn’t have to be your real name). You will have to confirm your zip code and email address. There will also be filters in place to block out offensive language and hate speech. Beyond that, you can be as anonymous as you like while interacting with the service.

The site is organized by different subjects. If you choose to click on “Fiscal accountability,” you will see headings under there for several more branches, including “waste,” “tax reform,” “budget process,” and “long term debt.” Other broad topics found on America Speaking Out covers everything from national security to the prosperity of Americans.

Within each section, users can submit a policy proposal, respond to the ideas others have submitted or debate specific proposals. Next to each topic, users can click on a Facebook or Twitter icon to take the discussion with them to their favorite social network. Also next to every idea posted, users can vote and idea up or down, much like the “like” feature found on Facebook. Sort proposals to read through by how popular they are to find out what other Americans are passionate about.

While this website may not change the world, I do feel it is a giant step in the right direction. What are your thoughts? Will you participate in the discussions?

What Makes Ron Paul Different

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I can’t believe that everyone in the chat room right now wanted me to record this video. I know it is likely to tick some people off, but so be it. My purpose is not to sway your vote. My purpose is to GET you to vote… to think… to make your OWN decision.

I believe in a lot of things, yet I don’t label myself as a Democrat, or Republican. I label myself as an American. I label myself as someone who lives in a free society, which has the potential to create positive change in our country. To that end, I want you to vote. I don’t really care who you vote for, believe it or not. I couldn’t care less if you vote for who I choose to give my support to. This isn’t a political ad, some campaign material, nor a plea for any certain candidate. I simply want you to get out there and vote come Election Day. I care that you vote… and that you think very carefully about who you vote for, and WHY you are voting for that particular person.

America isn’t run by politicians. It’s run by people who put the money in the politicians’ pockets. When I was younger, I didn’t follow politics at all really, nor did I vote. I felt as though it didn’t really matter, and that I couldn’t really make a damn bit of difference. I mean look at it this way: when you have companies who fund a particular politician AND his / her competition, something is seriously wrong. Now you don’t have a two-party system. You have one party. Follow the money trail. Special interest groups RUN this country. Cut. Print. Period.

I know you’re sitting there saying to yourself “Well, politicians have to get their money from somewhere”. Yes, they do. But here’s a novel idea. What about getting their money from US. Remember us? You know… the citizens these politicians are supposedly elected to represent. Yeah. Isn’t that just a crazy little idea, to have the American people decide who their money should go to, who they should support, and why? Imagine being that excited by a candidate that you would give them some of your hard-earned money? We all know money isn’t easy to come by. I automatically dismiss any candidate who accepts the majority of their money from corporations and special interest groups.

If they don’t have money, they don’t get elected? By today’s rules, by today’s media rate card. All that is about to change – and you have the power to change it.

I want to see more people apply critical thinking skills… not just to who they vote for, but in every aspect of their life. You are not in control, but… and here’s the kicker… you have the chance to be in control if you want to be. In order to do that, you have to STOP OUTSOURCING YOUR THINKING. Don’t just listen to me, or some newspaper, tv show, or even your own mother. Listen to yourself. Do your research. Open your mind!!! You have to see other perspectives in order to gain perspective. That is how you grow. If you only choose to listen to people you agree with, you’re living in an echo chamber.

Have we not clearly established that groupthink iS BAD?!

If you vote for someone because you think they are (or have a chance to be) a winner, you aren’t doing yourself or this country any favors. You vote for someone because you believe in them. What’s that? Just like you marry someone because you love them and believe in them – you vote for someone because you BELIEVE IN THEM. I’m tired of cookie-cutter politicians who spout the same tired things, changing their story and hiding their real relationships on a whim. The funny thing is you know you’re being lied to! Yet, you vote for them anyway – because you want to back a “winner.” Well, why not take a step back, and figure out exactly what a winner is?

Only you can decide that… for yourself.

This isn’t a “Blue” or “Red” issue. It’s not a “Democrat” or “Republican” issue. It’s an American issue. I hate when people spit out propoganda. It doesn’t matter if it’s slanted liberal or conservative… it’s still propoganda! I’m sure someone will watch this video and claim that I’m spreading propoganda… or that I’m a fool for beliving one thing over another. Yeah, well… at least I’m not telling you who to vote for. That’s totally up to you.

Just do your best to elect a person, not a company. Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

The Internet is Shaping Politics – Ron Paul

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Allan’s friend Jake sent me an email to ask me to discuss the impact Social Networking and the Internet in general are having on the US Presidential campaign. The “now” of Politics is online… the future is a given.

I am a fierce Independent, so I have done a lot of research into the different candidates this year. The more I research, the more convinced I am that in the future, politics will be decided online in a large way. Let’s talk about Ron Paul. Before we do, let me say this is not an endorsement of him as a candidate, nor am I saying who I am voting for. To me, that is very personal, and not something I’m willing to share. However, I DO want to discuss his campaign thus far.

Ron Paul has a HUGE following online. The Internet is full of not just Geeks, but technically astute people who research for themselves. They don’t just go by what they heard and see on the tv, radio or newspaper. Generally what Ron Paul stands for is just that… those types of values and mindset that much of us online share.

As far as I’m concerned, everyone should be an “Independent”. Why blindly follow a party? Do you REALLY believe that just because someone is a Democrat or Republican they are the best candidate? Do you really truly agree with every single thing “your” party stands for? When the citizens of this country, and even this world, finally all start thinking for themselves, we will be in a much better situation. Heck, I’m not even just talking politics here. Be independent in ALL of your thinking… from your choice of Operating system, to what car you will drive, and yes… to who you should vote for.

All in all, I definitely feel that the Internet will be shaping political races in the future. Oh, wait. It’s shaping one now, isn’t it? The future is here, folks. Isn’t it time you joined it? Get online. Do your own research. Draw your own conclusions. Let’s bring this country back to where it should be, then help it move forward.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

When Conservatives Attack Conservatives

Someone sent me a link to this story: Old-line Republican warns ‘something’s in the works’ to trigger a police state. It grabbed my attention:

Thom Hartmann began his program on Thursday by reading from a new Executive Order which allows the government to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies.

Yikes. So, am I a terrorist for even thinking that if the war in Iraq was a Silicon Valley startup, they’d have been laughed out of every VC’s office and never been funded in the first place? Certainly, conservatives are stepping up to defend the new order:

He then introduced old-line conservative Paul Craig Roberts — a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan who has recently become known for his strong opposition to the Bush administration and the Iraq War — by quoting the “strong words” which open Roberts’ latest column: “Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.”

Oh, snap! Noam Chomsky must be grinning from ear to ear right now.

“I don’t actually think they’re very strong,” said Roberts of his words. “I get a lot of flak that they’re understated and the situation is worse than I say. … When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order] … there’s no check to it. It doesn’t have to be ratified by Congress. The people who bear the brunt of these dictatorial police state actions have no recourse to the judiciary. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule. … The American people don’t really understand the danger that they face.”

Some Americans understand full well what’s been going on – and this problem didn’t start with the Bush administration (and it likely won’t end there, either). This is not a partisan snag – the problem is much, much, MUCH bigger. The Democrats / liberals aren’t going to save your bacon, my friends…

Politics is Personal – but Important

Time out.

I love y’all, but please DO NOT tell me what I can and CANNOT write about in my PERSONAL blog. Please? Thanks. I’m not a one-dimensional being, and I have plenty of thoughts that aren’t directly related to hardware and/or software. This is Chris Pirillo. Sorry ’bout that. I’ll try to be more like who you think you want me to be in the future…

I’m a geek, but in a much larger sense I’m a human being. More to the point, I’m an American who doesn’t have his news spoon fed to him (nor do I choose to receive all my research from any one source, Web-based or otherwise). I risk offending readers by speaking my mind, but that’s never stopped me before. I’m a fierce independent, as I believe every intellectual should be (NOTE: I’m not claiming to be an intellectual).

This is a big problem for some people, apparently? They want to place my entire existence into a nice little mental box that makes sense to them – for their world. “No, you can’t like both Apple and Microsoft at the same time – that’s impossible. You also can’t hate them for different reasons. You have to either like one or the other.” Why are you trying to paint me into something I’m not, or someone I really don’t want to be?

So, on my recent social / political / financial assertions… I was going to respond (at length) to Scoble’s post on politics. Honestly, I didn’t think I was asking for him to support anybody (and sorry that I made you feel that way, Robert – genuinely). I asked if he could take his camera over to San Jose to cover a Ron Paul rally, based on what I believe the REAL story is: Dr. Paul’s wildly distributed success with citizens of the ‘Net [not to say the ENTIRE Internet, mnd you]. Why is traditional media shunning him outright – isn’t that a story? Why are political pundits completely dismissing or misquoting him? Isn’t that a story, too?

I was gonna respond, but… seems that Scoble’s audience is largely schooling him on why his assertions are based on false assumptions or are just flat-out inaccurate (and you should never assume that all information for any candidate might be surfaced through their official Web site – blame the architect, not necessarily the candidate). I leave everybody to draw their own conclusions and candidate-related support reasons. I think every citizen’s heart is in the right place (read: we all love our country), which is why politics is such a difficult topic to bring up – at any time. 🙂

I really don’t care who you support, just make sure you understand what and who you’re supporting – that’s all I ask as a fellow American. I just ask that you understand how special interest groups work their financial magic, and what devices (read: propaganda) are used to divide the citizens of and classes in the United States. Just do your best to educate yourself – even if that education takes place in a public fashion.

If you ever find a candidate with a completely clean track record throughout his or her entire life, personal and professional – a candidate who you agree with 100% (and that candidate has never contradicted him or herself in the course of his or her life), I’ll be overwhelmingly impressed. Overwhelmingly. That candidate simply does not exist. I have never agreed more than 50% with anybody else on this planet, political candidate or otherwise. If I agreed with anybody more than 25% of the time, I’d be surprised.

We all have FREE and equal access to an amazing piece of technology – something that has the potential to change the world. No, it’s not the Internet. No, it’s not the television or radio airwaves. Think about it for a second – literally. Do I really need to spell it out for you? 🙂 Fine. I’ve been invited by Cameron Reilly to appear on G’Day World this weekend to talk about these very “unspeakable” issues.

It’s much easier to label or categorize someone than it is to take the time to understand them and the context in which they have made and continue to make decisions, isn’t it? Much, much, much easier… much, much, much safer…

The Politics of Star Wars

In response to Jeff’s Advice for McCain (which, itself, was a response):

Maybe John McCain is going for the nerd vote with this commercial’s (as you put it) “Star Wars” production values? When you have Darth Vader in your video, it’s almost guaranteed to go viral. Upon watching this particular McCain political ad, I felt compelled to hop into my Landspeeder, float down to the local cantina, and down a few rounds of Jawa Juice with friends.

I used to bullseye womprats in my T-16 back home (Iowa), and that couldn’t have taken any longer than McCain’s video. Personally, I think it’s more reminicent of THX 1138. Then again, I also think that Hilary Clinton looks a lot like Figrin D’an (a Bith) and Barack Obama is totally a Lando Calrissian wannabe.

Maybe it’s just me, but I believe that Jabba the Hutt would make an amazing candidate in this election. Too bad the “Gangsta” party hasn’t been formally recognized yet. You might as well vote for Greedo, the “True Green” candidate – and even then, you’re throwing your vote into the trash compactor.

Is it just me, or does Jeff Jarvis look an awful lot like Obi-Wan Kenobi?

To Vote or Not to Vote

If I have the right to vote, then I also have the right to tell politicians how they can earn my vote. I’m politically independent, and will remain that way until the day I die. What do I ask for? Nothing unreasonable.

  1. No negative campaigning, ever. I don’t mind a healthy debate, but when it comes to mudslinging – there’s no easier way for you to earn my non-vote. You’re trying to prove that you’re more trustworthy than your competitor by illustrating how your competitor is less trustworthy. Are you REALLY THAT STUPID (or is the population of my country RELALY THAT STUPID to reinforce this kind of behavior)?!
  2. Avoid hardline affiliation. So, you’re running on the Democratic ticket? You don’t have to remind me of that every time you open your mouth. Ultimately, it’s what you do in office and with your peers that matters. For whatever it’s worth, today’s conservatives make Barry Goldwater look like a liberal – and even Goldwater (himself) predicted that would eventually happen.
  3. Share your true passions. The “issues” are going to change over time, so don’t try to win me over by guessing what I want to hear. Tell me what you think, and I’ll decide whether or not I like the way you tell me. I don’t want to see what you’re doing on the campaign trail – what were you doing before you hit the campaign trail? Stand by your own convictions, not the convictions someone tells you to stand by.
  4. Stay out of my personal life. Do you pay my bills? Do you decide how I should spend my hard-earned money? Do you tell me which non-profit organizations I should support? Do you live with me? Do you drive across town to get me a Peet’s every morning? Then please, don’t try to make other personal decisions for me.
  5. Consider a new public relations team. I can’t think of anybody more out of touch with reality than someone in “PR” (seriously). If you need good advice, listen to your parents and/or your closest friends. If you want help getting the word out or lining up engagements, just ask the blogosphere. “We” really believe in you – even though we’re not on your payroll.

I’m not throwing my vote away – the system is. These are just personal pet peeves, not necessarily political ones. Hey, this *IS* a personal blog!

Political Things I Don't Understand

  • Last week, Pope Benedict XVI quoted a Byzantine emperor who characterized the Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman.” In protest, several Muslims set fire to five churches in Palestine. I’m not sure whether to laugh or to cry.
  • Who coined the “Islamic fascist” label? It’s manipulating language to further fan the flames of hatred and fear. Why not simply call them “facsists” – or stick with “terrorists?” I don’t remember abortion clinic bombers being called “Christian fascists,” do you?
  • Why is Clinton so upset over this weekend’s Fox News interview? Was he forced to do it by gunpoint? Did he have the option to screen the questions? Were they fair questions to ask? Is there such a thing as a fair question?
  • Why won’t Nancy Grace shut up about the Duckett case already?! She needs to wake up and realize that she’s not in a court of law, but a television studio.
  • Why am I hearing a lot of “they want to kill your family” talk from the American media? I wonder if that’s what we’re being accused of on the other side of the fence. The problem is: I don’t want to kill anybody, anywhere.
  • Why do I keep hearing the “N” word in popular music?! If they’re going to say it, people (of all races) are going to repeat it – and that’s not something I’m terribly comfortable with, if only because I’m white and nerdy. It’s one piece of pop culture that I wish would just go away.
  • Why do people still vote along party lines? Isn’t that like buying a certain brand, even though that brand has started to diminish in quality over the years – based on it being “the brand?”

The Great Political Cartoon Experiment

I’m going on record by stating that user generated content is often user generated CRAP. Still, that didn’t stop me from forcing Brad to publish today’s bLaugh with an empty caption bubble. We’re asking the audience – all two of you – to fill in the blank. I’m hoping that Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Whigs, and “Islamic Fascists” will be able to drop the debate for just a moment and make the world a funnier place…

Lieberman Hacked!

My suggestion: “That’s the last time I install a patch issued by Homeland Security developers.”