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I’ve returned from the great adventure I call “LP-SPAN” and here are my thoughts on the technical side of the issue. It is my hope that we can take this and build on it to make the next round of LNC insanity even better in terms of the broadcast quality. All suggestions are definitely appreciated. This is most definitely a work in progress.

The equipment:

I was using a Microsoft LifeCam either attached to a clip on the top of my laptop or on its independent pole. The camera allows pan and zoom IF you use the Microsoft software. However, the Justin.tv feed doesn’t allow that. No idea if Ustream does. I also had trouble with lighting issues in the room, especially the projector screen glare.

For future, I’d recommend a real videocam on a tripod, which should be able to create a better view and video quality. Personal experience suggests a bird-watching scope tripod over a camera tripod for lightness and ease of use. Plus mine has super-high elevation so it could pan over the crowd. Background lighting

The laptop was sitting on a tray table I had brought along since the room didn’t have any tables except for catering or the meeting table. It caused shaking of the cam at times when I tweeted, and the hunchover caused havoc on my back over time. I was hurting badly until Rachel gave me a much-needed back rub. “Bitchin’!” J

I’d recommend not having the camera attached to the laptop or at least set up in a way that it doesn’t shake. That and having a good setup so the laptop is the proper height to the user.

I’d also recommend a good omnidirectional microphone set up where everything can be caught well. The mic built into the webcam also caught my comments and occasional whispers, and a lot of extra noise. At SD the board table was in a cube with an open center, and the mic in there would have been best. I didn’t have that and it would have been a big help.

The testing:

I made sure that I understood how it all tied together and I did some test runs at home to make sure. That made a big difference come show time. However, the differences between my den and the meeting room were vast. I’d recommend testing in the meeting room if at all possible, because of the acoustics and lighting.

I tried the Justin.tv feed with the laptop’s webcam, then the external one recording, then with outside people and trying to embed.

Embedding the live feed was also a challenge. I had Todd Barnett on the phone helping to troubleshoot on his end. It helps to have someone on the receiving end to evaluate the reception. Ditto during the meeting. The justin.tv feed had a chat room built into each feed window, and that made getting the feedback easy, which came in handy when the connection got bad. Justin.tv does NOT work with WordPress well, unless Todd and I just missed something, which is certainly possible. I got it to embed at blogger/blogspot just fine. Other embedding notes are appreciated.

We also encountered a horrible screeching when we were testing, until we figured out that it was caused by the laptop speakers output being picked up by the webcam mic and creating a nasty feedback loop. The solution was to mute the speakers. Wear headphones when adjusting the microphone volume.

The Feed:

First, I was on the hotel’s wireless connection, which at times was very slow. The more people that were logged into the network, the slower it got. If you can, use a wired connection to ensure the connection rate stays consistent.

Second, it is extremely important to have someone on the other end provide feedback on the reception. On my end, the display on the popout window was far different than the one in the main window. Here the chat box was invaluable, and I was lucky to have multiple people giving me feedback.

Third, Justin.tv gave me the option to record as we broadcast. Do it. It saves off the pieces online for later download. I’d suggest stopping and restarting the recording at various spots to break it up into manageable segments instead of one long one. I always made sure to check the bandwidth between recordings because of the wireless, but I don’t think that may be necessary on a wired connection.

The twitter:

It’s a great tool to do this live. Yes, the 140 character limit can be an issue at times. I’d recommend two tweets, both in the gallery rather than on the board, who should focus on what is going on anyway. Plus, it removes any issue about “decorum” or “executive session”, but the tweets should be as neutral as possible. The advantage of two is that one can pick up what the other missed, which is an area I had trouble with at times. I’d also suggest that if you can’t get on a wired connection, then see if the tweet can be done on a Blackberry. The wireless connection problems that plagued the feed connection also slowed down the tweets. It may be advisable to have whomever is tweeting be different from the camera operations.

All in all, my rig was a little crude, but it was something. I don’t see this as too difficult, just taking a little getting used to. If you test beforehand and practice, it goes better.

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Nothing to add to what’s been said about this by others.

Just my attempt to get a threadjacking off IPR and bring it to where it is on subject. That is, here.

If you have thoughts on the question, whether you find this from IPR or elsewhere, please add them in the comments.

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I’ve previously listed the LP candidates here, here, here and here. Now, George Donnelly has turned this list into its own website with graphics and continuous updating. George explains:

An Effort to List all LP Candidates

We Libertarians need to know how many candidates we’re fielding for office. Which states are fielding full slates? no slates? Who are the candidates, what do they look like, what is their history, what are their positions and motivations?

This is all very basic but, before Libertarian Party Candidates (LPC), you could not find all this information in one place.

It’s important to see how well (or poorly) we Libertarians are doing at challenging the Republicrat duopoly at the ballot box. Hopefully LPC will serve as a measuring stick and as an incentive to run more and better candidates in 2010, 2012 and beyond.

Background

When Paulie pointed out in July of 2008 that LP.org doesn’t list all the Libertarian Party candidates running for office, it piqued my interest. How can we expect people to support and vote for Libertarian candidates if they don’t even know who they are – or even that they exist?

So, after chatting with Paulie, I decided that Libertarians might like a website where they can find all LP candidates in one convenient place.

Thanks to Paulie, the state parties and others that have collected the raw information presented here. All I did was design the site and enter the data.

Future Years

The site was built in a hurry during my spare time in the last couple weeks of July 2008, but I plan to significantly improve it for 2010 and beyond. Your sugestions and comments will help make that a reality.

Please Share your Feedback

Please feel free to contact me, George Donnelly, at me@georgedonnelly.com with any suggestions, ideas, complaints or whatever. I’m open to developing the project in new directions. I’m also interested in other strategies to advance the cause of liberty.

According to the site, the LP is running

* 15 for US Senate
* 109 for US House
* 5 for State Governor
* 4 for State Lt. Governor
* 1 for State Treasurer
* 3 for State Attorney General
* 2 for State Auditor
* 22 for Other State Offices
* 42 for State Senates
* 216 for State Houses
* 3 for Local Executives
* 26 for Local Legislatures
* 6 for Judge
* 12 for Sherriff or Constable
* 78 for Other Local Offices
* 546 Total LP candidates

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Ron PaulHat tip Presidential Politics ’08.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, a former Libertarian Party presidential candidate, has raised a staggering $5 million for the third quarter of 2007.

Dr. Paul, currently a Republican Congressman from Texas, is an obstetrician who has a very large grassroots following, especially among libertarians. To many that libertarian support is even more stunning, considering that Dr. Paul opposes abortion, whereas the Libertarian Party does not hold such opposition. However, completely in keeping with libertarian principles, Dr. Paul advocates immediate withdrawal from Iraq, at one time angering Rudy Giuliani during a debate when he suggested that the 9/11 attacks were “blowback” from previous US activities in the Middle East.

Wolf Blitzer broke the fundraising news on his CNN show “Situation Room” with the following statement:

Some stunning political news this hour concerning Ron Paul: The Republican presidential hopeful is low in the national and state polls, but now, when it comes to campaign cash, he’s standing very tall.

Ron Paul’s campaign reports that the congressman from Texas raised five million dollars over the past three months. That’s in the same neighborhood as what rival John McCain is expected to report, and it’s five times what former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee reportedly raised. It’s also more than three million dollars more than Paul raised over the first six months of this year. Paul can partially credit his big bucks to a strong following on the Internet.


Blitzer was not the only political pundit to express astonishment at this unexpected development. A similar sentiment was expressed by other news organizations, including MSNBC and ABC.

ABC World News Tonight is flying to New Hampshire to interview Mr. Paul for tonight’s episode. Earlier today, ABC called Ron’s totals “jaw-dropping.”

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Sorry folks, been too busy to post. But I thought I’d post this since no one else has yet. Our own Michelle Shinghal on Tucker Carlson, thanks to posts by our fellow blogger Steve Gordon.

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I found a nifty little tool, which rates blogs just like movies are rated, based on content.

Not surprisingly, LFV got an R rating. That rating was based on the words “gay”, “gun”, “shit”, and “kill”. Apparently Paulie’s favorite word is rated G these days, LOL.

I ran my own blog through it, and shockingly, it was rated NC-17. That rating was based on the presence of the words “death”, “hell”, “ass”, “crap”, “dead”, “dangerous”, “gun”, “suicide”, “kill”, “sex”, “piss”, “crap”, “shit”, “steal”, “hurt” “rape”, “breast”, “lesbian”, “dick”, “masochist”.

Now, while I am known to use the words “hell” and “crap” as profanity (neither of which would garner anything above a PG, if that), the rest of that list of questionable words looks really, really bad. In fact, it makes me look more than a little loony. However, in truth, those words are taken completely out of context. Here is what my blog really says when using some of those words:

dick = “A Texas man, Dick Simkanin, was convicted of tax crimes last month in connection with his failure to withhold federal income taxes from employees’ pay. Simkanin faces a statutory maximum sentence of 129 years imprisonment and millions of dollars in fines.”

shit = “In another video [Paris Hilton] made the comments ‘fat ugly Jewish bitch’, ‘little black whore got f***d in the butt for coke’, ‘nigger’, ‘black and steal shit’, all in the course of less than five minutes. There was no outrage over those comments, and no one even questioned why she would say things like that. Don Imus got fired for far, far less. Yet her reality show continues, and there were no consequences whatsoever for her outrageous behavior. That’s disturbing, because many young girls look up to Paris as a role model, when she is in fact anything but that.” [Paris used the word "fucked", not f'd", but I try to keep my blog at least reasonably clean so I didn't want to spell it out, even in a quote.]

rape = “A California man is facing rape and kidnapping charges after his alleged victim recently spotted him appearing as a contestant on the NBC Universal reality show ‘Blind Date.’”

piss = “One elderly investor wrote to him after he asked for even more money, saying that she has no money left but that she trusts him to pay off the principal plus interest. She doesn’t understand that he is a scammer, much less that her money is gone forever. Now, that pisses me off.”

lesbian = “‘We were both inspired to come here after the sitting president said the vile and vicious and hateful comments he did.’ — comedian Rosie O’Donnell, explaining how she and her lesbian partner, Kelli Carpenter, rushed to San Francisco to get married following President Bush’s call for a U.S. constitutional amendment banning gay marriages.”

kill = “Why did he kill the family dog, you might ask? Well, the poor little fella’s name was ‘Felony’, and it reminded the frickin’ ‘tard Watkins that he had just been charged with a felony. Apparently this dumbass had been charged with grand larceny in connection with the theft of a pickup truck, and had just bailed out of jail.”

suicide = “Here’s an audioblog wherein Gene ‘TogaDude’ Chapman reads a letter he wrote to the governor of Oregon (whose name he doesn’t know, and he has never lived there) asking to be allowed to commit assisted suicide because he has a ‘terminal illness called biblical Christianity’.”

OOPS – I bet if LFV were re-rated right now, it would also get an NC-17 as a result of this post alone. LOL

At any rate, when I realized what was going on, I was amused that my blog received an NC-17 rating, so I posted it on the blog. I wouldn’t want to fail to warn parents that their 16-year-old may be subjected to the real world, after all.

UPDATE:  I decided to run my old Gene Chapman blog through the same site, and it also got an NC-17 rating.  When I checked the keywords, though, they were almost all included in quotes from other people, and the rest were taken out of context.  Still, I put the NC-17 logo on it, because considering Gene’s incredibly bizarre platform items, that blog perhaps deserves that rating simply for discussing the ravings of a lunatic.

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Found on Stupid Evil Bastard:

The results from the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll on Evolution continue the trend of idiocy in this country on the topic of Evolution.

  • “Evolution, that is, the idea that human beings developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life” is probably or definitely false”: 44%
  • “Creationism, that is, the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years” is probably or definitely true”: 66%
  • 15% said that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate that did not believe in evolution.

That last line is the only bright spot to be found in the poll as the majority don’t think a candidate’s acceptance, or lack thereof, of evolution is relevant on how qualified a person is to be President. Though, in its own way, that’s sort of depressing as well.

Sometimes it’s amazing to me that half our population manages to avoid having their heads implode from the vacuum within.

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Jimmy CarterCRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) – The White House on Sunday fired back at former President Jimmy Carter, calling him “increasingly irrelevant” a day after Carter described George W. Bush’s presidency as the worst in history in international relations.Carter, a Democrat, said on Saturday in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that “as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.”White House spokesman Tony Fratto had declined to react on Saturday but on Sunday fired back.“I think it’s sad that President Carter’s reckless personal criticism is out there,” Fratto told reporters. “I think it’s unfortunate. And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments.”Carter has been an outspoken critic of Bush, but the White House has largely refrained from attacking him in return. Sunday’s sharp response marks a departure from the deference that sitting presidents traditionally have shown their predecessors.In the newspaper interview, Carter said Bush had taken a “radical departure from all previous administration policies” with the Iraq war.“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” Carter said.In a separate BBC interview, Carter also denounced the close relationship between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.“Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient,” Carter said when asked how he would characterize Blair’s relationship with Bush.”I think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world,” Carter said.Carter, who was president from 1977-1981 and won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his charitable work, was an outspoken opponent of the invasion of Iraq before it was launched in 2003. [Source: Reuters.com]

Across the blogosphere, conservatives are now making the rather shocking claim that 9/11 occurred as a result of Jimmy Carter’s policies. In a way, it’s amusing, since most of those bloggers are too young to even remember the Carter presidency. As a middle-aged left Libertarian, I remember it well. Jimmy Carter was the first president I ever voted for, although he lost that time around to Ronald Reagan. I voted for Carter because he is a humanist who believes in a strict policy of non-military intervention in international affairs, opting instead for diplomacy, except if our national security is directly threatened. After all, I was alive during Vietnam, and during the height of the Cold War, so that was (and will always be) an extremely important issue for me.

At the same time, it’s typical that conservatives would find a way to blame the actions of George W Bush – decades after Jimmy Carter left office – on a liberal. After all, they can’t blame themselves for re-electing a known warmonger who openly advocates torture and the erosion of our civil rights …. can they?

Let’s compare the two presidents.

Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize. George W. Bush couldn’t even win second prize in a beauty contest on Monopoly.

Jimmy Carter is known as a peace-advocating diplomat, and a humanitarian. George W Bush is known as a lying, draft-dodging, bloodthirsty warmongerer.

Don’t blame a man, who advocated peace, for a war that started decades after he left office. And don’t just dismiss him because he dared to say what many, if not most, politically active Americans are already thinking.

Put the blame where the blame is due. This is a war based on lies and deceptions, all of which are directly traceable and attributable to the Bush administration. There were no WMDs, folks, and Bush knew there were no WMDs; but he attacked Iraq anyway because they might one day get WMDs. Huh? I’m still scratching my head about that one. Now, Bush wants to attack even more countries, and the Democrats have already backed off the promises they made when they were elected, to end the war in Iraq. Is it therefore any wonder that third parties are more attractive than ever to voters during the 2008 presidential election cycle? (more…)

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I found this over on Stupid Evil Bastard, and was pretty amazed by it.

When Rubik’s Cube first came out, I was a teenager (yeah, I know, I’m showing my age with this story, LOL). I bought one with my own money, which I had worked like a dog to earn (back then, I think I was making about $1.75 an hour, again showing my age) and took it home. Basically, I intended to mess with it a bit, to get the feel for it, before I actually mixed it all up to be solved.

My older brother “solved” that problem for me, by asking “hey, can I see that?” then immediately mixing it all up while cackling gleefully.

Guess I’ve never forgiven him for that. I basically never touched the damn thing again.

But this kid is pretty doggone amazing, I have to say, and the way he studies it before attempting to solve it suggests maybe I had planned to go about it the right way after all. Apparently this is the world record for solving a Rubik’s Cube: 17.9 seconds!

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Tee BarkdullTee Barkdull is a presidential candidate for The American Party. In fact, it appears he created that party, and that he is its one and only member. You can see his completely amateurish website here. His website is for the most part boring, but the misspellings alone make it worth the visit. ;-)

The sad thing is that Tee has some interesting ideas, but he is such a complete and utter jerkwad that none of those ideas will ever be taken seriously unless someone else decides to promote them.

Then again, some of his ideas are certifiably insane.

Basically, Tee’s main qualification is that he was elected president of his local VFW where, if his website and blog comments are any indication, he drinks to excess. He spent years in the military, but it doesn’t appear he was either an officer, or a gentleman. In fact, as far as I can tell, he was a low-level enlisted man for his entire 20-year military career – his website shows a photo of a corporal’s insignia – and he admits he worked mostly in supply (which, for anyone who has never been in the military, means that he has the intelligence of a slug). He also claims he is well educated, not because he has a degree in anything (although he claims to have a “Doctrine in Common Sense”) , but because he figured out how to put gas in his car and food on the table.

By that standard, my 19-year-old son is a frickin’ genius. (more…)

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While meandering around google just a few minutes ago, I found what appears to be a brand-new blog for the 2008 presidential election. It’s surprisingly well thought out, and seems to be trying to maintain a neutral viewpoint. There’s not even a hint of what party affiliation or political persuasion this blogger may have, which is what peaked my interest.

Here’s their blog description:

The purpose of this blog is to provide voters with a comprehensive list of candidates and their positions, and also to provide voters and candidates alike with a forum in which to share their views. Commentary is not only welcome, but highly encouraged.

Unlike some other presidential election blogs, this one is extremely comprehensive so far, with a listing of (and links for) about 75 presidential candidates of every imaginable description. They even listed the candidate for the “Vampires, Witches and Pagans Party”, LOL.

They’ve definitely put some work into it, and given it a lot of thought. The candidate and party links list alone is impressive compared to most blogs of that nature.

Apparently they’re looking for input to make sure they’ve included all the candidates and parties which should be listed, and are also looking for input so they can compile biographical info on all the candidates. They are also looking for additional links to add. So far their link categories seem to be candidates (separated by party), political parties, discussion resources, and general resources.

If anybody’s interested in checking it out or saying howdy, the blog address is www.08presidentialelection.blogspot.com

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Over at the LP Blog the last ten posts, and counting, are about the party’s participation in the Conservative Political Action Conference. Granted, the coverage is pretty darn good, and we are at least doing some outreach somewhere, in contrast to much of what has taken place the last few years. But when is the last time we did anything like this at a liberal conference? When will there be one, and does the LP have any plans of attending?

My exchange with Steve Gordon (LP national communication director) in the comments at:

http://www.lp.org/yourturn/archives/000562.shtml

p) Steve and Joe,

Great coverage!

Keep up the good work.

I sincerely hope the LP also does this same type of outreach and coverage at some similar upcoming event for liberals, to provide much-needed balance in our outreach.

Do you know of any such upcoming events, and do you have plans to attend and cover them?

Posted by: paul at March 4, 2007 04:16 PM

Paul,

Suggest an event where 1) we’d even be allowed in the door, 2) where we’d have some reasonable outreach opportunities, 3) that it would be logistically reasonable (it is easier and cheaper for a DC-based organization to attend an event in DC than one in San Francisco) and we’d very clearly consider it.
Posted by: Stephen Gordon at March 4, 2007 04:28 PM

Steve,

That is certainly a reasonable answer.

Unfortunately, I don’t know about where and when the big liberal conferences in the DC area take place, just as I would not have known about CPAC but for the LP’s participation, but I’ll research it. I’m going to put this out on a variety of yahoo groups and see if anyone knows.

-paul
http://kubby2008.com
Posted by: paul at March 4, 2007 04:42 PM

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For those of you who have been following this food fight,


There's a wanker who does not like our blog because we act rowdy and curse
. I think the
problem stems from him getting fired from the Badnarik 2004 campaign as webmaster, and he
has had it in for Steve Van Dyke and Steve Gordon ever since. He's come after others, such as Loretta Nall, as proxies since then.

R. Noval, the Bike Messenger, who also blogs at said wanker's blog, commented....

You all are, of course, welcome to post your views at smallgov, as we are loathe to block commentary, as Mr. dondero, I’m sure, will attest.

Apparently not, as some of us did in fact comment, and our comments were...well, erased.


Scroll down and read the comments that were erased for yourself, reproduced in our comments
and see if that action was merited.

Your move, Dirasian :-) (more…)

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A few days ago, we reported about how state representative Burridge in NH responded to a constituent's polite email in favor of decriminalizing marijuana by calling him a dumb pothead who should become a snitch and CC'ed the local cops.

Now,
Homeland Stupidity
reports that all the calls and emails that Burridge has received as a result of the coverage of this issue on blogs such as this one has caused him to change not just his tone, but possibly his mind as well.

The Keene Sentinel reports

“This is a learning process for me,” said Burridge, who has received dozens of calls from as far as Florida, Missouri and California. “I’m certainly learning the power of blogs. … It’s fascinating.”

When the Internet storm dies down, Burridge would like to meet with Iselin to discuss the issue further, he said. “He’s certainly a very energized and passionate young man.”

Iselin said he would be open to a meeting, as well. He is even hoping that Burridge might appear on his television show.

“I was just trying to get in touch with him in the first place,” Iselin said. “That’s what this whole thing was about.”

This blog was one of many,
like this one
which experienced the most traffic we ever had due to reporting this story,
and (just like us) suggesting ways people both in and out of NH can take action. This blog, like ours, has many good ideas and templates for letters you can use in the comment section.

Going beyond what is reported in the Sentinel, the MassCann blog reports:

State of NH had a decrim meeting today. LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) spoke. Delmar (Burridge) was at the meeting. He has listened and talked to many of his constituents over the last few days and he is now publicly pledging to support marijuana decrim and will vote for it.

Sweet!

Let's keep in touch with Burridge, make sure that this is true and if so, that he keeps his word.

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I can’t copy/paste due to a messed up computer here, so that makes it a pain to say a lot of things I like saying. See “Delay of Game” at http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com

I’ll get down to the University later (not sure if it will be today) but it’s less convenient, since I don’t have a car and it might be closed for Xmas anyway.

Happy holidays everyone. Maybe I’ll have wordpress figured out better by the New Year!

OBTW I added Michelle as a user at pauliecannoli’s a while back, if anyone else is interested in blogging there too just ask.

Hey one other thing…if you haven’t had wine made of muscadine grapes I highly recommend it. Absolutely delicious, and it has 5x the good stuff for the heart as regular red wine.

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