Google chicanery worsens
You can read here the story about how Pamela Geller and her "Atlas Shrugged" blog have been "sandboxed" by Google -- meaning that her page-ranking has been stripped -- which in turn means that Google searches that should put her stuff on the front page of results in fact lead to her site only at the very end of the search results.
I used the search term: "couple of days ago I was wiped off google search pages". It is from one of Pamela's recent posts, a post that I and many other conservative bloggers have reproduced. And because so many people have linked to it, it should have appeared at the top of the search results. It did not. All the posts by other people (including mine) came first and the original post came up only at the bottom of the searches. So it is crystal clear that Google is now deliberately perverting its own automatic ranking system to divert attention away from blogs it does not like. And because lots of people go no further than the first page of search results, that is a very effective form of censorship. Obama is not yet even in office and the censorship of conservative speech has begun!
I wondered whether Google was doing something similar to this blog and it looks like they do. Let me explain: There are no less than five group-blogs where the owners have kindly given me posting privileges -- in addition to my own 11 regular blogs. So most days I post to 16 blogs. What I post on the group blogs are one or two cross-posts of what I think are the more widely interesting posts on my own blogs.
Since only one of the group blogs gets more readers than this one, it seems likely that their page rank should be behind this one. There are around 1,500 links leading to this blog according to Technorati -- and that is pretty good as blogs go. So anything appearing here should come up close to top in search results. I checked, however, and it did not. Results from this blog appeared LAST. I found that a post put up on one of the group blogs will be listed in a Google search result BEFORE the same post on this blog. So my page ranking appears to have been manually tampered with too.
But I am not as driven as Pamela so as long as my posts are listed at all I am happy. Most of my posts are recycled bits from elsewhere anyway and the stuff that is original to me is VERY original (What other conservative blog has extolled the Eton Boating Song, for instance?) so, for want of competition, my own thoughts should still appear well up on searches even if their page-rank is low. The time may come however when Google completely delists pesky conservative bloggers like me. America will be well on the road to Fascism when that happens.
St. Andrew's Day
As most Scots will be aware, today (30th) is St. Andrew's Day. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and St. Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day, although Burns' Night is more widely and lavishly celebrated. It is a "bank holiday" in Scotland. So I have just hoisted the Saltire of St. Andrew on the flagpole at the front of my house. I encourage others with Scottish loyalties to do likewise. I am also hoping that I will be having something Scottish for dinner tonight. I seem to be out of haggis but I do have some Forfar Bridies in my freezer -- to be had with tatties, of course.
Below is one of the great Scottish patriotic songs. Play the music, read the words and sing along:
SCOTLAND THE BRAVE!
1). Hark when the night is falling,
Hear! hear the pipes are calling,
Loudly and proudly calling,
Down thro' the glen.
There where the hills are sleeping,
Now feel the blood a-leaping,
High as the spirits of the old Highland men.
Chorus: Towering in gallant fame,
Scotland my mountain hame,
High may your proud standards gloriously wave,
Land of my high endeavour,
Land of the shining river,
Land of my heart for ever,
Scotland the brave.
2). High in the misty Highlands
Out by the purple islands,
Brave are the hearts that beat
Beneath Scottish skies.
Wild are the winds to meet you,
Staunch are the friends that greet you,
Kind as the love that shines from fair maidens' eyes.
3). Far off in sunlit places
Sad are the Scottish faces,
Yearning to feel the kiss
Of sweet Scottish rain.
Where the tropics are beaming
Love sets the heart a-dreaming,
Longing and dreaming for the hameland again.
4). Hot as a burning ember, (This verse is not always sung)
Flaming in bleak December
Burning within the hearts
Of clansmen afar!
Calling to home and fire,
Calling the sweet desire,
Shining a light that beckons from every star!
BOOK REVIEW OF: Leave Us Alone by Grover Norquist
This is a book about politics in America. Norquist-the President of Americans for Tax Reform-argues there are two great coalitions struggling for control of government. They are the "Takings Coalition" and the "Leave Us Alone Coalition". After defining these coalitions, he weaves a lucid outline of the American political scene, including history, policy, tactics, demographic trends, and possible outcomes.
The book initially appears partisan as it has a clear "Republican good"/"Democrat bad" flavor to it. This is a little bit misleading, since the conflict discussed is really between the interest groups both political parties tend to represent. Norquist criticizes Republicans who have not advanced the cause of the Leave Us Alone Coalition, either in terms of policy or in terms of poor political presentation of policy. Winning an election is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
The book presents a game plan to unseat Democratic incumbents who support big government. Privatization of Social Security accounts and establishment of medical savings accounts are part of creating the ownership society discussed earlier in the Bush Administration. These are sellable ideas that can move people away from government dependency. There is also a long and coherent addressing of Federal tax policy and helpful ideas on how to reform and reduce the tax bite.
The problem is getting those who naturally support a "leave us alone worldview" to recognize the common themes in their coalition and concentrate on bringing them to the attention of the electorate. Any one who violates basic rules such as opposition to tax hikes needs to be thrown over the side so that a clear branding of ideas exists in the minds of voters. I know Grover has worked tirelessly on trying to achieve this. I believe his game plan will work. I can only hope more people will adopt it.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)