The Jefferson Tree - A platform for debate and discussion of current events and politics...

Former NSA Chief Keith Alexander Quickly Becoming the Villain

Certain people, who had their egos (not national security) terribly hurt by the Edward Snowden revelations, continue to call Snowden names and stuff and show their outrage toward him for exposing the NSA’s wrongdoing.  It would seem, however, they might want to redirect their outrage toward another former employee of the NSA: ex-chief Keith Alexander. It was revealed yesterday the NSA is now being sued by a reporter for not disclosing Alexander’s financial records in the interest of making sure there ...

Palestine Borders and Demographics Prove to be A Ghetto

Thanks to a good idea given to me by my partner here at STL, I started to research and analyze some geographic information regarding the Jewish land-grab in Palestine. I then followed by studying some demographic info on the Gaza Strip and drew some interesting conclusions. Here’s what I found: First, some great maps over at Wikipedia with adjoining historical context info and links portraying the boundaries of Palestine/Israel since the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement (The linked information could have you reading ...

Social Protest Lit: Ebenezer Elliot, “The People’s Anthem”

A poem from Ebenezer Elliot entitled The People’s Anthem from Book IV called “Out of The Depths.” This chapter is focused on man’s pursuit of remedy for social injustice: When wilt thou save the people? O God of mercy! when? Not kings and lords, but nations! Flowers of the heart, O God, are they! Let them not pass, like weeds, away! Their heritage a sunless day! God save the people! Shall bring crime for ever, Strength aiding still the strong? Is it thy will, O Father? That man shall toil for wrong? “No!” ...

Stephen Moore’s Ridiculous Anti-Clean Energy Rant

Hard right-winger Stephen Moore took a break from pushing debunked trickle-down economic policies to take a pathetic shot at clean energy.  Let the stupid begin. …radical Greens, one of the most influential political forces in America today… Seriously?  He goes on to mention the famed Sierra Club as one of these forces.  And where did they rank in 2013 on lobbying: 755.  In fact, if we look at the top 50 interest groups giving to members of Congress this year, no sign ...

Anti-Israel Policies/Actions Is Not Anti-Semitsim

There have been growing protests in Europe against the mass murder of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the State of Israel. These actions are in response to the IDF killing 500 Muslims there with the vast majority of them being civilians. But what is troubling about these movements is, according to this article in the NYT, an anti-Semitic tinge has taken place at these protests. The story reads that in France: Several recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris have boiled over ...

Warren For President?

Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent. Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial ...

Social Protest Literatue at Sparking The Left

Here at STL we are starting a new feature. In between our political-insight posts, I will start publishing excerpts or entire pieces of great literature that speak to crucial social and political issues which span the centuries. Though almost all in the Western tradition, the subject matters are transcendental. Now first to name my source, I am taking pieces from Upton Sinclair’s selected and edited collection “The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Great Social Protest Literature of All Time.” ...

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Detained for Being Undocumented

I was first brought aware of Jose Antonio Vargas’ story last week in a piece he penned in Politico. He explained that he was in the Rio Grande Valley, in the city of McAllen, just north of the Mexican border. He was there to see first hand the tens of thousands of undocumented children, most of them from Central America, and observe how they were being treated. The trip was also used for a news conference appearance and vigil organized by United We Dream, ...

Selective Outrage

War is hell.  All we have to do is look around the world to see its toll.  That being said, I don't understand the lack of outrage coming from this President and his administration other than that aimed at our one ally - Israel which is doing no more than trying to protect it's people from rocket fire and constant raids from Hamas. The fact that Palestinian civilians are getting killed is a tragic yet unavoidable aspect of this war.  Why ...

Why Are We So Full Of Hate?

What has happened to human kind?  No matter where you look we find ourselves surrounded by a world filled with hate. What puzzles me is how it's combined with political correctness.  Take this country where so many words are now frowned upon and even forbidden because they are hurtful to certain people.  Redskins, squaw, savage plus a whole lot applying to blacks, orientals and hispanics not to mention middle easterners.  Has it dawned on anyone banning the names has done nothing ...

Has Putin Over Reached Once Too Often?

My, oh my.  We've watched this man make mince meat of Obama over the past several years.  Each time you could see the smirk broaden and the swagger get more pronounced. He and his allies - Iran, China, Syria and North Korea were truly enjoying themselves. But as happens with a lot of bullies, they get over confident and suddenly everything around them collapses. I'm wondering if this is the case with the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet. With the death ...

If Only It WERE The Heat!

What a day.  A passenger plane has been shot down over Ukraine uncomfortably close to the Russian border. Hamas reneged on the humanitarian cease fire so Israel launched their ground offensive. Children still pour across the border while Congress dithers. It's now being reported parents are giving them birth control in case they are raped during the journey. Along that line former member of Congress, Todd Aiken, who once talked about legitimate rape and the idea that women's bodies protected them from becoming ...

Hannity's Histrionics

For a person who doesn't have much faith in the intellect of pundits, I wonder why I watch them so often.  I wonder even more why the cable outlets and networks that employ them don't take more care in who they hire. Many of them get on crusades that bear no resemblance to reality.  Sean Hannity is one of the most prominent. The night before last  he was on his Bowe Bergdahl kick demanding to know why he was returned to ...

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

If the President could run away from the border mess any faster I'm sure he would. It's being said it's because being seen in the setting of kids crammed into confined spaces with their scabies and lice would reflect badly on him.  It could even be his Katrina.  Well, maybe.  But who's fault is that? It goes to show his handlers aren't as smart as they think they are.  For one, drinking beer and shooting pool in Colorado, a state where ...

The Kids Always Went Home

Watching the immigration mess going full bore brought to mind a lot of things that have involved children from other nations.  The first thing that comes to mind is the Disney song It's a Small World After All that speaks to all we have in common. Hopes, dreams, all the warm fuzzy stuff. We've had exchange student programs where a student from another country lives with a local family to learn not only academics but what life in American and Americans ...

The Militia Is Coming, The Militia Is Coming!

That's all we need! News has it a call has gone out for militia, both unarmed and armed, to gather along the border to help private land owners protect their property in something called Operation Save Our Borders.  Terrific! Remember how well it went when militia turned out to help to  help Cliven Bundy in his fight over Federal grazing rights in Nevada?  It came within a hair's breadth of turning violent. I really feel for the border towns who are the ...

Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. Thomas Jefferson
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John Liming - American Liberal Times

The Curiously Amazing Habits Of The Internet Troll!

Internet Troll velu ill artlibre jnl

Who remembers the story from childhood of “Billy Goat’s Gruff” where there is a nasty-tempered troll living underneath a bridge waiting for some unfortunate little goat to happen by so the Troll can entice it and finally eat it?

That was an interesting story and I am pleased that it was childhood fiction because for a long time after reading it, I always wondered if it was safe to cross bridges on foot—especially alone—especially after dark—you know how it is with a kid if you’ve ever been one.

But there are real Troll-Types and they are not fictional and they are alive today and they may be waiting for you on, of all places, the Internet—especially if you are an online writer, journalist or blogger.

The Trolls I am speaking of here are probably not those green, hair-covered mythical creatures—the stuff that Fairy Tales are made of—(Even though some of them might look like that…who knows?)—but today’s “Trolls” seem to share certain basic personality traits with those beings…at least in my personal opinion which is just that and nothing more…an opinion!

Other places Trolls love to lurk are on those popular “Forum” sites where people go to express their opinions about various subjects. If you have ever visited a public “Forum” Internet Site, chances are you have encountered Trolls plying their skills to inflame conversations.

You can usually spot an Internet Troll because they sometimes like to “Attach” themselves to virtually everything you write and, most likely, will make it their business to visit almost every single item you publish and leave long, argumentative rebuttals to everything you have to say in what you have written.

The Troll loves to use inflammatory and disruptive language and often seems to be insanely overcome with joy whenever someone tries to argue back.  The Troll likes to pick a verbal fight and seems always to be filled with some kind of nasty childish delight when someone responds to one of it’s sometimes really lengthy diatribes.  Trolls love to leave long comments on your articles—really long comments that might tend to absolutely tire or wear out those unlucky enough to try to read them and make any sense out of them.

I remember this one persistent Troll that attached to “The Liming Liberal Democrat” blog—this Troll would come on with a standard greeting, “Well, Mr. Liming…once again your ignorance is breathtaking to behold…”

After this, the Troll would spend about 5 or ten lengthy paragraphs explaining to me how that if only I would listen to what he, she or it (As the case may have been)  had to teach the world about whatever the subject being responded to was, I “Might” learn something.  The Troll presupposed, I guess, that everyone was less learned than itself or was totally “Ignorant” without whatever “Light the Troll had to share.

This Troll worked very hard to convince me how that whatever I was writing was nothing but drivel or “Garbage” and how uninformed I was on almost everything and that I was an embarrassment to really “Hip,” In-Tune and Intellectual people like whoever this Troll was…and after awhile, it became the same old song and dance whenever this individual would make an appearance—which was on almost everything I would publish to The Web.

And this approach that I am describing here is not unique to myself or to Trolls in general.  They all seem to act pretty much in the same manner and fashion and there are numerous articles all over The Internet describing them and telling people how to deal with them.

I just thought I would share a little this morning because this is a fascinating subject with me and I just know, in my heart, that there are others out there who share my interest in such things.

The impression Trolls try to leave with their victims is “Reasonableness” as far as I can tell.  It seems to me sometimes like their entire plea is “Please…be reasonable and see things my way because your way absolutely is wrong on every count…I am the expert…I am the brain…I have all the answers…listen to me!”

I have discovered Trolls seem to take great pleasure in proving to you, themselves and anyone who will listen that whatever you write is total and absolute nonsense and worthy of completely ignoring while everything they present is to be accepted as Gospel Truth.

Troll responses to articles can sometimes contain almost as many (And often more) words than the article they are responding to. Troll responses sometimes try to look authoritative and extremely Academic as if they might have been composed by some really astute intellectuals or something, but it doesn’t take many people—myself included—very long to see through the static and realize that words by themselves do not an intellectual argument make! I call this Trollish tendency “Faux Intellectualism.”

It sometimes seems like the Trolls are always there because it seems like they make sure they never miss a chance to come onto some one’s written pieces and start running their mouths.  I don’t know whether it is a game they like to play or a sickness that plagues them. The fact is they are real, they seem to be everywhere waiting to pounce and they are generally well-recognized and described by the Internet Community.

Trolls seem to never get done blasting  away at some point of criticism they want to get across.  They cannot be reasoned with, they are never conciliatory and they sometimes love to engage in insulting comments about authors.  I have had them come onto my blogs and call me names, tell me to make sure I remember not to mix my medications with alcohol, to inform me how sorry they are because I am stupid and all kinds of things that are apparently meant to insult, demean, degrade and embarrass me in front of whoever might want to read what I have written.

When they are not being insulting, many of them are engaged in endless challenges to the veracity of whatever you have written. They seem to constantly demand “More Proof” or “Substantiated” evidence to back up anything that you have written that they want to make an issue about and if you make the mistake of trying to give them the “Evidence” they demanded, it is never good enough or from an appropriate source or it has been “Revised” or “Tampered” with—no amount of effort you put forth to try and satisfy a Troll with “Facts” or “Evidence” is ever going to get the job done…they love to cause people to waste time…whatever is presented to them is fertile ground for attack.  Trying to deal with a Troll as if one would deal with a normal individual is a total waste of time and effort.

Trolls have been known to be so intrusive and downright unkind and nasty that they have caused some Internet Bloggers and other Journal Writers to lock the comments out of their work entirely.

If you make the mistake of calling a Troll out, they sometimes suddenly become all innocent and defensive and inform you that all they are doing is expressing an opposing opinion that is contrary to your own (To which they are entitled)  and that you do not possess the appropriate degree of “Character”  to handle what they might try to describe as their “Constructive Criticism” or their opposing viewpoint. 

Of course, the truth is that they could care less about opposing points of view or any one’s rights to express an opinion—they get off on causing trouble, irritating sensibilities, being insulting and persisting in their trouble making and pot stirring.  That is what drives them and that is the essence of the blood that runs through their veins according to most authorities I have read about the subject of Trolls.

Troll experts often refer to these irritants such appropriate titles as “Provocateurs” and “Malicious Mal factors” and in my opinion any such term is highly accurate because of the Troll’s generally accusatory and extremely and persistently hostile way of presenting things in written form.

I have had Internet Trolls call me everything from an idiot, to a “Sad Case” to an outright “Commie.” I have made substantial and most satisfactory use of the delete key in many instances and am most pleased to have done so because the Troll never presents anything that informs, educates or inspires.  Troll talk is trash talk as far as I am concerned and a lot of people seem to agree with that assessment.

So what can be done to defend against Internet Trolls?

Nothing can be done that I am aware of  to defend against Internet Trolls because nothing seems to insult them enough or discourage them enough to ever make them go away.  The best that can be done, as far as I am concerned,  is to totally ignore their ramblings and to refuse to respond to them.

Of course even this can be regarded by some Trolls as some sort of victory that they feel they have achieved over their victims.  If you ignore them long enough and if you make it a habit to refuse to respond to their promptings and prodding, they will most likely assume (And might even publicly declare) that they have won their point  and they will go their way probably with their heads all swelled and completely satisfied with themselves for what they imagine they have accomplished.

But I have also discovered that once they take their leave of a victim, it may not always be forever.  In other words, there is a good chance that even if they decide to go somewhere else for awhile, they may always return to take up where they left off.

I cannot say this for sure about Trolls, but it seems to be the general consensus among others who I have read who have written about these nuisances.

So, the next time you visit a site where you want to read something, (Especially if the subject matter is in any way controversial)  pay close attention to some of the comments that are left on articles that interest you.  If you remember what I have written here, chances are very good that you too will be able to spot the Trolls at work.

You might find the following interesting: 

More interesting stuff on Internet Trolls:

Can Internet Trolls be considered as “Stalkers” and can their harassment be criminalized under The First Amendment? See the following for information about some who think so:

Posted by John Liming (Political Opinions)

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Internet Troll velu ill artlibre jnl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Liming - American Liberal Times

Author: John Liming - American Liberal Times

I am an American Man, 72-years-old, and a Veteran of The U.S. Military. I have served honorably in both The United States Army (National Guard) and The United States Air Force for a total of seven years and three months active duty during what is now known as The Vietnam Era. I am a concerned citizen and refer to myself as "A Crazy Left Wing Liberal Nut Case with occasional Right Wing Conservative tendencies. I am particular fearful that we might get to the point, in our internal power struggles where we would be a One Party Nation.

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