Rikki Tikki Backstory
So, this morning I found Rikki Tikki Tavi's Garden a reference to the childrens book where a mongoose defeats an evil pair of snakes. The name is well chosen: this user is attempting to defang a group of employees from the Center for American Progress, one of whom uses a snake username on some social bookmarking sites. And it is the involvment in the social bookmarking that is pissing off this particular mongoose.
He (or she...) doesn't have comments enabled on that blog, which pissed me off, so I wrote a lot more than I probably should have on the subject.
How Social Bookmarking Works
People who like a story will bookmark and "vote up" that story. You may not agree with them, but that's how it works.
Digg has an uneasy relationship with self-promotion that comes from the community. The Digg FAQ doesn't say how to handle it so instead we get community opinion on the matter. And therefore we get dissent from that opinion. That's how the real world works - deal with it.
Reddit saw that problem with Digg and set the ground rules off the bat. Right in the Reddiquette it says:
Post links directly to interesting things. Old content and self-promotion are okay, because Reddit is a meritocracy.
So let me repeat: People who like a story will bookmark and "vote up" that story. This is not a case of people being shills. It's reality.
How American Non-Partisan "Political" Nonprofits Work
Much as I hate to see it, the reality is that American law currently allows an organization to be a nonprofit think tank (gaining all sorts of tax and social benefits) but only if they are "non partisan". The IRS test for "non partisan" has to do with advocating for a specific politician. Most people just assume it's the appearance of a bias, which is not true. However, both the popularly accepted idea of "non partisan" as being "unbiased" and the IRS test of "not advocating for a person" are crossed every day!
People turn a blind eye towards it because the rule is so difficult to enforce and because it's so frequently violated on both sides. Churches are non-profit - almost every non-wedding occasion I've been in a church in my adult life there's been a pro-Republican message. One time within the last year the sermon touched on how Saddam Hussein was responsible for September 11 and how great it was that Bush got him. Seriously. As for Rikki Tikki Tavi's test showing that the CAP staffers have histories with the Democracts , try it again with the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute. They have similarly biased backgrounds working with Republican representatives, presidents, and everyone in between. That's the way it works. Wake up!
Personally, I disagree with about 50% of the stuff that Center for American Progress believes (see my political leaning and a test you can take) and because of the way they send out their news I disagree with about 90% of the stuff that they say. As Voltaire said, "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." The US is a "fair" place where people are treated equally. "Nonpartisan" think tanks that promote "conservative" and "progressive" ideals should be treated equally, even when you disagree with them.
So, my mongoose friend, that's how it works. From every angle of political leaning. Deal with it.