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Ricardo Mendes

How to Watch the 2017 Presidential #Inauguration Online

1 min read

Trump DayOne

First events before the actual thing start around 15h30 Belgian local time, swearing around 18h and so on
details of the full schedule in FR or EN.

Pick your flavour of Official accounts for the Inauguration : 

Inauguration Hashtags on Twitter :


Dems not attending :


Those Boycotting Trump :


Hashtag that emerged after Trump winning the election : 


One the biggest if the biggest Women protest march ever in the US ?





Videos : 

Twittter videos 

Livestream  :

Livestream for the 2017

State Media :

Public Media :

Twitter + PBS

Politico US


Reuters Live

CBS Live

Trump Media : 

Live now : (19/01/2016)

pro Trump inauguration feed

other coverage :

Democracy Now!

RT America

Ricardo Mendes

Ricardo Mendes

Social media data collection tools #SNA

4 min read

This is a list of tools I need to explore/validate for social media analytics.
the source comes from here & also here & here and here.

Twitter data collection tools (applications):

Twitter data collection tools (modules & libraries; require programming knowledge):

Facebook data collection tools (applications):

Facebook data collection tools (modules & libraries; require programming knowledge):

Social data vendors (these sell data for analysis within their own platforms or independently):

Other (misc links that don’t belong under any of the other sections)


Ricardo Mendes

15 Years ago today I was walking near the beach in Vilamoura when 9/11 happend

7 min read

I was in this little portuguese coastal city of Vilamoura, I was walking along the port with a friend and we were quite intrigued to see people staring at TV's all along the promenade.

I was saying to my friend :

- probably they are watching an action movie!

but it didn't make sense that everyone was watching the same movie on the same channel.

After a while we decided to watch a little bit of the scene, that's when I saw the second plane hit the second tower, Live !

Suddenly it couldn't be a movie anymore and the implication of this simple fact were simply too disturbing to comprehend at that precise moment.

I remember I was already very politically inclided and actually participating at the time with US Peace activists on a internet campaign to Impeach G. W. Bush. Impeach Bush was the plan, my blog at the time (now deleted) was full of reactions to US foreign policy and my thoughts at the time about where the hell were we going if there wasn't a change of course of action.

I remember to sit down in a Hotel near the port and just watch on this giant screen the events enfold.

I started to make some phone calls to some friends and we all met at some point to talk about the implications this event would have on our lifes. We knew this would change forever the course of History. We knew that with this attack, Bush was virtually free to attack anyone, anywhere. I remember how Russia was an US ally back then.

Things have changed in all fronts.

And so it did : Afghanistan and later on Iraq.

I remember when Collin Pauwel was presenting his "mobile chemical lab" theory on live TV & getting broadcasted all over the world. the US was already in Afghanistan and with this new theory of WMD and chemical weapons, the US was getting its way into Iraq. I remember the useless biggest Peace demonstration of all times around the World to try to stop US going to war with Iraq. I remember how the new "terrorism" construct allowed a generation of politicians to basically wage war anywhere without accountability, without due process and without the minimum of legit proof before actually doing something.

The events we live today : Global Terrorism, ISIS, IS, ISIL were shaped during the Bush administration era.

I remember getting to Brussels in the winter of 2001, I remember boarding without a valid passport (that's why I was going to Brussels, to renew my passport) I remember the waitress looking at me, asking me a few questions, then asking her colleague about if I could board without a valid passport, I remember her saying : "He probably isn't dangerous, don't ask our boss he will probably say no and you will have to stay here."

So they basically decided to let me go and board the plane without my valid passport. Security measures were far from being implemented across Europe. 

On board I remember talking to a couple, diplomats, they had scoured the world and had interesting opinions about geopolitics, and the US war on terror at the time just starting. 

At the time, just a few months after 9/11 I remember reading some theories online, the Pentagate it was called, it was a theory on what had struck the Pentagone, not a plane for sure. 

I remember we talked during the whole trip about geopolitics & the impact of 9/11 for the rest of the world. 

I was convinced the "official story" from the US government was at best wrong, incomplete. Every aspect of this official story was suspicious, the contradictions, the different naratives, so much discrepencies that if the official story entered US history books without much fact-checking, I don't think it entered european mindset the same way : everyone was suspicious of the official story, from the get go, it wasn't a conspiracy, it was using our brains to determine that arguments would not add up or make any sense from a scientific point of view. 

After a while I decided "the Truth" like so many US goverment matters would never reach the mass population, unless some whistleblower would come out and give a complete different version of the story: and this would never happen. 

The neo-cons & other hawks in Washington got precisely what they needed : a global landscape to advance their disastrous geopolitical game : finish the job of Bush father. 

Also this "security" nightmare had propulsed the security industry to new heights, suddenly, biometry, advanced scanning of all sorts and truck load of new security measures were imposed and this generated a shit pile of new business and corporations just waiting for the good "security" scenario to enfold to sell their toys and gadjets. 

it worked pretty well. the illusion of security was everywhere. 

Terrorism would be deafeated, Iraq destroyed followed by the long list of countries that would suffer the US liberation doctrine : bombs & drones for Libya, Mali, Yemen the destabilization of the Middle-East was a neo-con/hawk top job and with 9/11 everything was in place for the empire to move without much UN or EU concertation about where was all this suffering going to end. It didn't mattered much for the hawks. 


Ben Laden, Bin Laden, Ussama Bin Laden or Ossama Ben Laden, who cares ? 

This puppet got used by the Bush administration to legitimate everything the administration needed to have in place and was later on killed (twice ?) and then sent to the bottom of the sea under the next administration without an ounce of accountability. 

The US needed something more than Alqaeda. 

Syria was the next playground, selling weapons to different factions of rebels, shipping weapons to so much "rebels" groups that in the end US troops where battling insurgents with the same weapons. but who cares ?

Fast Forward the whole Obama Administration and its use of Drones to reach target goals and the result is the creation of ISIS. 

Our foreign policy actions created the terrorism we have today. Terrorism is not a "natural disaster". 

Man made actions create more Terrorism than any religious ideology. 

Man made disastrous foreign policy + religions + weapons is a terrible mix to "bring terrorist" to Justice. 

This cocktail not only fragmented the at the time hundreds of AQ combattants, it basically produced a new breed of terrorist that employed all their new possibilities in Europe since then. 

Europe was wrong getting into the Iraq quagmire in 2003, it was wrong to follow Blair or Bush advisers, it was wrong to participate in any way or shape into the US led invasion & disruption of the middle-east. 

Europe need its own foreign policy in conjunction with other global players like Russia, China, the US and other actors, but most of all, what's the point of the current UN design ? where 5 permanent members can veto any decisions if it doesn't fit in their geopolitical war games ? 

We need a refoundation of not only the European Project but we also need a complete refoundation of the United Nations body and structure. 

If anything 9/11 thought humanity was that one nation alone cannot get rogue and think it would from fear, bring more democracy, more justice and more stability to the world. 

To my fellow US friends I say : if you learned anything from these nightmares it should be that governing from Fear only leads to more destruction, more death and more suffering. You lost 3000 American People. That's a fact, but don't you think your administration should be accounted for what it did to the rest of the world as a "response" to the 9/11 attack ?

Maybe this is best illustrated by this TED video : How Fear drives American politics : 

What post-fact will be remembered on our/your kids History books ?


Ricardo Mendes

Ricardo Mendes

How to fix @withknown image issues after moving to self-hosted #indieweb

1 min read

I had this issue quite a few time and it's always related to the Uploads folder (and existing sub-folders) not having correct write/read permission but also www-data not being the owner of the files.

I used to fix this by Chown-ing the /var/www/ folder like this chown -R www–data:www-data /var/www/ considering "www" is the Known root folder.

You can also add yourself to the www-data group : usermod -a -G www-data (your username) then use this command to fix the permissions issues of the Uploads folder : chgrp www-data /var/www/Uploads and then chmod g+rwxs /var/www/Uploads  You might also want to use the -R option to give write permission recursively : chmod -R ug+rw foldername

Ricardo Mendes

Ricardo Mendes

Ricardo Mendes

Optimizing @withknown CSS

2 min read

I'm currently testing Known and doing some experiments on my Theme to get a better scoring at pagespeed.

CSS delivery test :

Page speed optimization :

 Optimizing CSS & Images for better pagespeed

Render Blocking CSS: 















Render Blocking Javascript : 












I need to find a way to defer-loading all of these JS/CSS files without messing with core file so that next upgrades can be put in place without any work on the optimisation side. 

Ricardo Mendes

The enemy within or Why our past choices predicted or defined our present #eurocrisis #brexit #AusteritybyDesign

7 min read

Before there was protests for 3 YEARS all around Europe while @EU_Commission was quietly "negotiating" banking bailouts and imposing deadly, even suicidal austerity in , Spain & Portugal. During that time Civil Society in Europe tried to block the so called 6 pack & 2 pack after trying to block the ESM treaty without success. During all this time Euroscepticism was already in bed in extreme-right wing parties all across Europe but EU didn't give a damn about these growing risks. By doing so it deliberately shoot itself in the foot. 

After loosing the battle against Austerity & while was already on the horizon, civil society moved against TTIP recognizing on this new negotiations the mother of everything that went wrong with today's neoliberal capitalism.

Barroso kept the European Commission path unchanged, paving the path of UKIP, AfD, FN and Co.

By behaving with an unseen arrogance, the Barroso commission paved EU expansionism, growing up to 28 members states without the minimum of ongoing stability already reached by previous members. it's like EU interests where never in his mind, always pushing for more blind enlargement until triggering enough friction with Russia leading up to the Ukraine disaster. Yes Russia did invade Crimea, the very same way the US invaded Iraq without even the need to "annexe" it since Iraq and other post-invaded US countries are for ever under US annexation after 2 decades of wars & destruction. Annexing Crimea was wrong, like annexing & meddling in the middle-east by the US & allies is & was wrong from the early begining. 

We didn't bring democracy to Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali or Libya : we brought in destruction, death, unstability, we killed civilians and we droned entire villages from the confort of our modern "clean" warfare inhuman capability. 

Then the refugee crisis arrived. Why ? 

It's ridiculous to detach the refugee crisis from the ongoing war the West is waging since 2001 against Terrorism. We produce weapons, ammunition's, surveillance technology & train Afghan, Libyan, Somalia, Malian armies to battle Terrorism. 

But like in the past on these regions of the World, we might think our might is above all the others but in the end, the rebels Washington is paying on his side to crush Assad or the factions of "freedom fighters" that US foreign policy don't mind to empower are most of the time affiliated with terrorists organisations leading the West to the eternal quagmire of endless wars & now since 2016 very clearly : retaliations against Western presence in the middle-east in the form of direct terrorist murders in many European cities, 

I may be naive if you will, but reading and learning to read foreign policy games since 2 decades have been a long journey for me to understand why our society is always detaching repercussions here at home from the atrocities, illegal wars, proxy war, war crimes that we, as a society perpetrate to supposedly "defend" our interests in those regions. 

US meddling in the middle-east is not new. Retaliations against US policies are not new either. 

placing authoritarian regimes replacing civilians regime by religious dictatorships is not new either. 

from South America meddling to Middle-East meddling, the US have a undisputed very long story of messing with many areas of the World to serve it's own interests. 

Only an Amnesiac society can play at not understanding where Terrorism come from while her elected leaders keep on going, decades after decades to advance a project of fear, destruction and ultimately war as policy to reach the unbalanced state of the World that we have today. 

2016 and terrorism is definitely at home in Europe, after each attack we are keen to "prove" this or that attack where carried by ISIS - like if knowing who are the perpetrator would change anything - TV spin loop for hours why this or that terrorist got radicalized, like if suicide bombers was a choice in life or some kind of goal, and we finally get to understand all the details about this one terrorist attack there comes the next and the next one, until everybody is so much drugged by all this violence that we may accept anything, everything to make it stop. but it never stops, until We, as "civilised" society don't stop our current policies, our current path when it touch our perception around limited ressources, geopolicy, diplomacy, warfare and what created terrorism in the first place. 

Terrorism is not a natural disaster. it's a man made disaster that is getting out of the hands of the swarm of US agencies that created its root in the first place. 

ISIS is a Human creation. the ennemy we are battling is ultimately ourselves : our fear. 
fear of others, fear of other cultures, fear of of everything that could/might change our little embryo of paradise that we decide to keep only for ourselves, instead of sharing our human society advances with the rest of the World. 

Terrorism will not be defeated by more wars, more weapons and more ground or air invasion. 

Terrorism will be defeated when a whole generation that created this mess is impeached and banned from ever approaching any position in governement or anything related to military or intelligence agencies. 

Terrorism will be defeated when we decide to break the artificial barriers of fear that we project on other cultures without ever looking ourselves on the mirror, honestly to ask : What have we done in the last 60 years that might have participated in the systemic crisis that we live today ? 

What kind of World I want my childrens to live in ? 

Until fighting Terrorism is dropping more bombs, more drones and more death without ever questioning WHY we are here now, terrorism as we know it, will never be defeated. 

We have to start to include the rest of the world in the conversation, we have to start listening and building a multi-polarity world, where all the nations have their say. 

Until our post-world-war II institutions are dominated by incompetent veto members that can change the faith of the world with one word, there will be no global democracy to build at an international level. 

UN need a complete reform or be disbanded. (UN must go beyond symbolism and be able to act)

NATO need a complete redesign and repurpose or be disbanded. (current role of deterrence is last century way of thinking, need of enemy to exist is over)

the World must unite instead of creating hot wars, cold wars or man-made inbalance to control the evolution of other countries. but to unite, each country must be on the same level. veto powers for nobody or for everyone but the current process is designed to keep a minority of countries with a very deviant democracy track record to keep setting the world agenda without an ounce of accountability. 

Democracy is not granted. Each generation need to find the missing ingredients for the current time and find ways to bring this missing ingredient to the table before the World as a whole suffer from the consequences of letting democracy erode itself to the point the only choices left are to elect populist dictators to "solve" our problems.

100% of our current problems are man made. We can fix them if only we move from confrontation, towards collaboration even in the global world stage. 

We need a Churchill for this century !

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