Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Back to Reddit's The_Donald subforum: the alleged Russian connection

For reasons that are not discussed openly, the Donald John Trump subreddit, r/The_Donald
has survived a series of subreddit purges, such as the end of the Million Dollar Extreme forums and QAnon forums for being shot through with Alt-Right "content" (cartoons, links to websites, racist comments in code words, etc.) and promoting crazy conspiracy theories in r/the_greatawakening and the other QAnon subreddits. If Redditors want that sort of material, VISUP is a better site for it.

As reported by The Verge and Buzzfeed News, The_Donald has been taking articles from the so-called St. Petersburg "Fake News" factory Internet Research Agency through the websites brutalist.press and USA Really, the latter of which Buzzfeed News states is owned by the "Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation", a "civil society institution." The initial spark of these articles was a post of the subreddit r/FuckTheAltRight by a user with the handle DivestTrump; both the article was deleted, then saved through archive.fo while DivestTrump was hounded off Reddit and then returned under the same name.

[post under construction.]

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Art Madrid is still mayor of La Mesa....on Wikipedia

Something found while wandering through en.Wikipedia, a tiny reversion war over the BLP of Art Madrid, former mayor of the city of La Mesa (1990-2014), though if you read the "biography of a living person" article on Wikipedia, it seems to be locked in 2011 - no mention of Madrid's loss to La Mesa Councilman and grade school teacher Mark Arapostathis in 2014. In fact, right now it is little more than a stub with a photograph of Madrid dating to 2005 as you can see below.

Art Madrid (born about 1935), a La Mesa, California resident since 1958, has held elective office in La Mesa since 1981. Elected as a City Councilman from 1981 to 1990, Art was then elected Mayor of La Mesa, California in 1990 and then re-elected in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.[1]

In 1994, Mayor Madrid gained national and international attention when he started a highly successful program of publishing the names and pictures of individuals arrested for prostitution in his community. In 1995 the American Society of Public Administrators selected Art as San Diego County's Outstanding Elected Official. San Diego Magazine selected him as one of their "50 People to watch in 2000."

Art has served as chair of the San Diego Association of Governments, SANDAG. He also serves on State Board of the League of California Cities and was President of the San Diego Division of the League. He has served as President of the California Council of Governments (CALCOG).

Official Web Site at La Mesa City[permanent dead link]

                  Art Madrid, mayor of La Mesa, California. (Photo by Kevin Tostado, 2005)

This is all that is left after a battle over the article went on and off from 2008 to 2014, as can be seen in the revision history page. Because of the battle, you will not hear about the various controversies concerning Art Madrid's 24 years in office as mayor, because IPs like consider any discussion of the issues like this: Removed scandal section. Unecessary and rude. [typo as original] Would it shock anybody that geolocates to La Mesa if you run it through the IP2location.com system? And what is it that offended them so much? This:

On February 20, 2008, Mayor Madrid and a La Mesa city finance department employee, Trisha Turner, age 35, were found in a state of [[drunkenness]] on a city street at about 10:30pm. City police understood that the two were heavily intoxicated, yet city police officers, in a move which has drawn fierce criticism, then quietly returned the two to their respective residences without further legal action.<ref>[http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20080228-9999-1n28policies.html ''San Diego Union'' article of Feb. 28, 2008.]</ref>

This one small, slightly-inaccurate paragraph (the newspaper cited has been the San Diego Union-Tribune since 1992) has been batted about like a Badminton shuttlecock since it was put in there by Piece.of.eight on February 28, 2008, the day it was reported by the Union-Tribune. removed the third or fourth time the paragraph (under the section "Scandal") was inserted into the article. By the end of the battle right before the elections in November of 2014, the "Scandal" section had just become a paragraph of "controversies":

Madrid's tenure as Mayor has not been without controversy. In 2004 he was accused of hit and run following an incident at Norm's Bar http://www.10news.com/news/man-claims-la-mesa-mayor-involved-in-hit-and-run. In 2006, he was criticized for failing to apologize after directing the City Attorney to threaten a local man, Chris Tanner with litigation following Tanner's public testimony at a Council meeting. http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060218/news_1n18tanner.html and in 2008 was found laying on the sidewalk near his home after drinking with a City employee http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2008/02/mayor-found-drunk-public-sidewalk/

Two IPs batted this back and forth, for the inclusion and against. After Madrid was defeated in the polls November 2014, the last two edits were done by 'bots KasparBot and InternetArchiveBot in 2016. If you do a geolocation of both of those IPs they either locate to La Mesa or the ourskirts of El Cajon (a city east of La Mesa). Nothing is outside of San Diego county, and nobody edited the BLP from the city of San Diego - it was totally a local affair, if you ignore the occasional 'bots sticking things in, and possible sockpuppets like Classicrockfan42.

Viewpoint of a Local Person

Simple search engine searches during the years of the edit war could have turned up the articles that were mentioned, plus previous issues, like how Art Madrid and Bob Filner were targeted by Lemon Grove's lone teenaged Klansman and San Diego State student Alex Curtis with hate mailings and a deactivated hand grenade on Madrid's lawn in the late 1990s. There's no word about the attempt to run a Property and Business Improvement District in the La Mesa downtown area, a move which predated the state government's killing of redevelopment agencies in 2011. Madrid's inability to get the PBID off the ground may have cost him his seat from residential voters, or the idea of a PBID was a bridge too far for local businesspeople, it was never made clear in any local media why Madrid was voted out. I can say that the scuttlebutt in "the Village" was that Madrid was writing a memoir of his time on the city council and as mayor, but no such book has turned up. I don't see the point to why the Art Madrid  BLP should remain stuck years out of date, it should be updated and all the deleted material placed in it, but that seems to be too commonsensical for Wikipedia in 2018.