Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Latte Salute and Wikipedia Editing

Two subjects connected only by the thread that they are annoying the shit out of me.

First the "Latte Salute" -  If you don't know, a couple days ago President Obama returned a Marines salute while holding a cup of coffee in his hand.  The conservative blogosphere is now up in arms about how disrespectful this is to one of national heroes, a fine young warrior blah blah blah.  On the other side the liberals are busily throwing up images of GWB doing the same type of thing.

Who Cares?!

They're civilians in civilian clothes.  They shouldn't be saluting in the first place.

People need to grow the fuck up,

I don't like Obama - I think he is a disaster but that doesn't mean that everything he does is calculated to destroy the fabric of American society.  He may think he is that smart, but he isn't and people need to stop giving him that much credit.  The same goes for GWB on the opposite side.  Liberals may want to think that Bush was the stupidest thing to ever walk on two legs, but for eight years he told you exactly what he was going to do and managed to out maneuver people all along the way.  You can disagree with him (vehemently for all I care) but you need to stop underestimating him.

Accept things for what they are.  Obama (and Bush before him) acknowledged a greeting from one of the Marines assigned to their detail.  They did so in a somewhat thoughtless way, but I really doubt that the Marines involved were damaged in any way (Unless someone knows something I don't.  Did they go back to the barracks and cry themselves to sleep because the President didn't salute properly?)

There are more important things to worry about (like the fact that the American economy is starting to contract again)

Item two - Wikipedia Editing

Recently "The Federalist" has been examining the speeches of Neil deGrasse Tyson and they have found some inconsistencies in stories, and errors in his quotes,  Most of them are pretty minor and personally I would say who cares, (aside -  in general I kind of find Tyson kind of a blowhard and rather annoying but at the same time I find this speech to be profound, in that I think it sums up a lot of where America has gone off course -

(We have stopped dreaming about tomorrow, if you don't get my point) but one particular quote borders on outright slander of George W. Bush.  People started editing deGrasse Tyson's Wikipedia page, including these quotes in a controversy section.  As quickly as the edits were made they were removed until finally the page was locked.  Attention then turned to the Wikipedia page of "The Federalist" itself and an editor nominated the page for deletion on the basis of notability.  In my opinion it's obviously a retaliatory move, but there is a process and I would be content to let it move forward except for two things:

1.  The process has been rigged.  The first item for determining notability of a website is "The content itself has been the subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the site itself." The work at "The Federalist" meets that qualification easily, but what the editors arguing for deletion have done is only count the actual mentions of the words "The Federalist" and not the context or actual content of the works.  They then say, "Oh well, it's only a trivial mention" completely ignoring the portion of the notability guidelines that say "Context matters"

2.  Editors have now decided that if they don't get their way and the article isn't deleted that they will engage in harassment via the Wikipedia page itself:
If the AFD is closed as keep, the article will indeed be developed further along the lines of what you expresed above; that is a given. As they say "be careful of what you wish for". - Cwobeel (talk) 01:05, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
This just annoys the shit out of me.  I mean it's bad enough that someone decides to try and get revenge by nominating a relatively obscure article for deletion.  The article serves a purpose, it provides background on a somewhat prominent conservative commentary site, but I doubt it got a lot of attention. (and funnily enough the major source for the article was itself critical of the site.  If they had left it alone the jist would have been don't trust "The Federalist") The more important issue though is that editors feel confident enough to threaten harassment in public and no one even questions it.  Kind of calls the whole idea of Neutral Point of View into question.

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