Plato’s Pow Wow

Welcome to the New Plato’s Everybody!

Woohoo! A little Irish gig is in order here!

As you can see, I have kept the minimalism design and added a drop-down menu, found top left hand of homepage (a stack of three lines as symbol).

For the good reader/visitor, I have archived everything methodically now, please refer to the menu when searching for articles by me or by my NewsStand.  The archives are now divided into two categories: ‘Taxi’s Articles’ and ‘NewsStand Articles“.

For the fiery commentators, you will be please to know that y’all now have an edit button open to you for twenty minutes after posting. If you would like to edit past that time, then send me a message through my ‘Contact’ page, found on the menu list. You will also be pleased to know that Plato’s is now a ‘site of record’. Each commentator now has an archival page of their own.

Please everybody, use the ‘Contact’ page to send any private messages to me regarding, well, anything. I will answer soon as I get a chance.

Also, please leave me a comment with feedback on this thread – especially if you’re having tech problems with this transition. I need feedback to also know that things are working – so don’t be shy, talk to me!

I’m a-waiting….



  1. Taxi says:

    Hey slothy! Thanks a million for testing my ‘contact page’ – it works!!!

    What a cool sport you are!

    Right! I’d better go do some reading and posting on the new newsssand now! Late start today – you’ll have to excuse but I spent all morning working with the tech, doing final touches and tweaks, Stayyyyyyy tuned!

  2. Taxi says:

    Okay – just wanting to ask everyone to extend me their patience for the next 48 hours or so while I tweak some stuff with my tech – there is a 10 hour time difference between myself and the tech so this can slow progress down a tad more than the norm.

    And please feel free to give me feedback while the tech is on hand for a couple more days. The aim after all is to give you guys a smooth and most pleasant experience.

    Thank you, merci, dunkashen, shukran, shalom!

      • Taxi says:

        Wonderful thought from the wonderful Margret Mead.

        Of course you see this occurring more frequently in literature and the arts than in politics.

        My task here at Plato’s is to share information and pieces of the geopolitical jigsaw puzzle. Sharing information is about the only counter-propaganda activity I can be useful at. Of course and just as importantly, Plato’s is also for sharing ideas.

  3. Taxi says:

    If anyone tried to reach me through the ‘Contact’ page and has still not received an email response from me, please let me know. I just want to make sure there are no random glitches. Thank you.

      • Denis says:

        I’m in w/ Firefox — no alert this time. iPad was not a problem at all even yesterday when FF was freaking out.

        Occasional open threads — good idea. I’ve got a bad case of athlete’s foot I’d like to talk to someone about. Sirisly, Moon of Alabama does occasional open threads with very good participation.

        Now I’m going to try the new error button and change “jock itch” to “athlete’s foot.”

      • Taxi says:

        That be cool about moa – so it can work to have an ‘open thread’.

        And thanks Denis for your update on security alert situ. I’m getting the site certified as we speak.

  4. Taxi says:

    I’m thinking of every now and then doing like a ‘free-style’ thread where bloggers can make a comment about anything that takes their fancy. A sort of a cyber ‘open mic’ page. Any feed back on this idea?

    Shall we experiment and see what pertinent or crazy topics are on people’s minds? Heh – perhaps not.

    But seriously, anyone up for this idea?

    • Walid says:

      “I’m thinking of every now and then doing like a ‘free-style’ thread ” (Taxi)

      A super great idea. these open threads become very colourful and interesting and create a lot of back and forth between posters. I suggest to have a fixed open thread all the time; on MoA, the blog’s master opens it only when he is away or swamped with work and has no time to attend to the blog, a sort of letting the mice continuing to play while the cat is away.

      • Taxi says:

        Heh. Okay. Sounds nice for the mice (or is it rrrrrrats?!).

        I think I will set it up as a category , something like: ‘Plato’s Pow Wow’ – stick it in the menu. And every now and then I’ll put up a fresh ‘Pow Wow’page and archive it there: numbered: Pow-Wow 1, Pow-Wow 2, Pow-Wow 3, so on and so forth. I’ll think about doing something like that. That would be like a community hall/board. Why not?! I’ll talk to my tech about it tomorrow.

      • Walid says:

        Taxi, rather than the “30 last posts” that only shows a poster’s name and the thread title, which doesn’t mean much, is it possible to have the poster’s name, thread title and a one-liner from the actual post that would tell us if we have already read the post; MW used to have it at one time but for only about 7 or 10 posts, which were replaced with the “last 100 posts”. It could be only the last 10 posts if space doesn’t permit the whole 30. 10 with actual content would be a bigger help than 30 with just titles. If you look at the current list of 30, you’d see what I mean. Thanks.

      • Taxi says:

        Absolutely, makes sense. I’ll tell my tech. Thank you.

        It’s stuff like this that I need to know about to make my visitor’s experience smooth and less shuffley. My tech will deal with it tomorrow – California time where my tech is located.

  5. Great work on the minimal layout and crisp design Taxi. It’s great to see someone that is motivated enough to change the status quo, and is doing something about it.

    I’ll test test out the contact page, and I assume the contact page could be the location where we could suggest new posts for articles. If I could add one wish list item for the future – it would be some type of bulletin board where commenters could post related articles and those comments could even be ‘up voted’ so the dialogue stays in tune with those that comment, and would prevent too many off topic posts within each article.

    i.e. It’s not exactly similar to what I suggested, but FF had a feature where anyone who commented on an article would rise to the top of the other articles. Obviously that was a different platform, but it kept the real time dialogue alive & vibrant, so when you visited FF you could then have real time dialogue. It was an addictive feature that made you jump into a ‘hot’ thread, and a multitude of people could be conversing all in real time.

    It was also a good way to build a database of material, because a reoccurring topic would come up and you could search an older thread from 6 months ago and bring it to the top, and embellish the original post.

    While I appreciate the discussion of articles each day, some of the information that people post is invaluable and could be condensed into a useful thread for review. I discussed with Sean & Danaa way back a way to catalog and visually document important data through group projects, but it never really materialized. But the idea of working together to prove an idea can seem much more satisfying than only responding to articles about the lack of progress in the MSM and Congress regarding I/P.

    Best of luck in your new digs!

    • seanmcbride says:


      Good you noticed that Friendfeed was a remarkable piece of software — I still haven’t discovered a discussion platform to match it — it was well ahead of its time.

      Inoreader provides an effective way to manage (sort, filter and search) WordPress comments:

      +track new comments
      +automatically mark seen comments as read
      +search past comments
      +mark comments as favorites and view only favorited comments
      +save/archive comments to services like Pocket

      New comments appear at the head of the queue.

      (But it is still not nearly as powerful as Friendfeed.)

      • seanmcbride says:


        I use the online/Web-based version of Inoreader in tandem with the Android version for my smartphone — all your activities stay in sync among devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.).

        If you set up an Inoreader folder for Mideast politics, you can begin by adding these feeds (among many others):

        +Mondoweiss: Comments
        +Plato’s Guns
        +Plato’s Guns: Comments
        +Tikun Olam

        Those who really appreciate finely crafted advanced software should be impressed by this platform — it’s in a league with Friendfeed for sheer brilliance.

    • Taxi says:

      Thanks Chu.

      I actually did have a ‘community board’ set up on my wish list that I gave to my tech, but we got bogged down just sorting out the necessities and we ran out of time to do it this on this round. I think in the springtime or there about, I will invest in slicker font and a community board. One step at a time. But yeah it’s a good idea.

      The thing about comments is that you need them to be in a certain order, ie first comment is top, this way the thread reads more logical and smoother. One can post in real time here as there is no moderation waiting line.

      What would be cool to also have a-la FF is the private chat room as side chatter. If anyone knows how to get that, let me know and I will add it to my new Plato wish list.

      • Thanks Taxi. Not sure about side chat fxtn, but you’re correct that since there is no mod. wait time, conversations will happen quickly.

  6. Taxi says:

    BTW, a little off topic here but a teenager I know is writing a paper on how israel’s establishment in the holy land has affected the water distribution of the region to the detriment of the natives. Anyone got any handy, good and comprehensive links so I can help the teen out? I have nothing in my personal archives about that – facts and statistics are needed. any help would be sincerely appreciated. The teen says that there are so many links on this subject matter and they don’t know which one is ‘truth’ – teen is 15 and overwhelmed.

    • seanmcbride says:


      A good way to approach a subject like this (or any subject) — organize all the key topics on the subject as a collection of Google searches.

      One way to identify the leading topics is to use Google autocomplete after the first letter of each letter of the alphabet.

      One might compile a list like this:

      g; israel water
      g; israel water borders
      g; israel water conflict
      g; israel water crimes
      g; israel water crisis
      g; israel water desalination
      g; israel water dispute
      g; israel water facts
      g; israel water gaza
      g; israel water golan heights
      g; israel water grabber
      g; israel water imports
      g; israel water issues
      g; israel water jordan
      g; israel water law
      g; israel water lebanon
      g; israel water ministry of national infrastructures
      g; israel water needs
      g; israel water palestinians
      g; israel water policy
      g; israel water recycling
      g; israel water settlements
      g; israel water shortage
      g; israel water statistics
      g; israel water supply
      g; israel water technology
      g; israel water usage
      g; israel water war over water
      g; israel water wars
      g; israel water west bank
      g; israel water youtube

      Each of those searches will tend to push the most valuable documents to the top of the list. The trick is to find the most effective search terms.

      You might then want to sort the most important documents discovered by these searches in chronological order — especially by newest, to grab the most recent facts, statistics and data.

      The list above is just a rough first cut — a starting point for drilling down. In browsing around the results of a few searches I quickly noticed a few dozen high-quality documents.

      Also, each of those Google searches can be further refined, in hierarchical order, with more levels of subtopics.

      • seanmcbride says:

        The edit window is closed — rewrite:

        One way to identify the leading topics is to use Google autocomplete after the first letter of each letter of the alphabet:

        israel water a…
        israel water b…
        israel water c…

        and so on.

    • american200 says:


      I think IAK is accurate for a basic starter—its out dated but at the bottom of page in the end Notes are links to other orgs that monitor the water situation. I think I posted several links to sources on the old site when this was discussed once.

      There are one or two world water and conservation organizations that I used before, I will see if I can find them.

    • american200 says:

      links ….
      Where he can find very detailed reports like this one

      Report No. 47657-GZ
      Sector Note
      April 2009
      Middle East and North Africa Region
      Sustainable Development
      The World Bank

      Also World Health Organization:

      Where he can find reports like theses:
      Search results
      1-10 of 833 results
      Water health topic
      Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory …pdf
      … Ministry of Health, Averting maternal mortality in Palestine. … Settlers often
      vandalize Palestinian water infrastructure, contaminating wells and springs … – 66k
      ,World Health Organization 知 Organisation mondiale de la …pdf
      … Water reservoirs are not properly treated. … they only cover 30% of Palestinian
      population centres … 3.5 The Palestine Health Council has developed a … – 197k
      [ More results from ]

      Here are some others.

      Columbia University Library, Middle East Studies Internet Resources; “Water in the Middle East”

      United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library; “Water Resources in the Middle East : A Bibliography”

      “Water Issues in the Arab-Israeli Conflict”
      Prepared by David Paul

      “Negotiating Water: Israel and the Palestinians”; Sharif S. Elmusa, Institute for Palestine Studies, Washington, D.C.

      Meria Journal Research Guide: “Middle East Water Issues”

      “Water and Conflict in the Middle East”

      Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

      Middle East Desalination Research Center

      Middle East Water Information Network; Middle East and Water Web Sites

      PASSIA Jordan River Basin map

      • Taxi says:

        “Guf gas pipeline” = Qatar gas pipeline. Thus the Turkish-Qatari deadly conspiracy against Syria.

        Also Walid, there is never really just a single reason nations enter into war. War is very complex, never one dimensional. Russia is in Syria for multiple reasons, all beneficial to Russia – and to Syria too as it happens. By the same token, Syria is working with Putin and not doing deals with Obama because of its interests and not because of its great love for Russia (even though they are very old and good friends). Each nation gravitates towards its perceived interests and often interests harmoniously intercept and other times interests between nations collide.

        But you know all this. (Good nite, again – heh).

      • Taxi says:

        Oh man that is outrageously generous of you America. My teen friend is gonna be stoked – and overwhelmed lol! Thank you.

    • Walid says:

      In addition to the potpourri that you said you’d have for open non-thread subjects, I was thinking of music, but maybe it shouldn’t be a section by itself but being part of that same open thread.

      • Taxi says:

        Thanks Walid. I actually originally wanted a cinema as well as a music page/archives: Plato’s Scala and Plato’s Carnegie – but that’s another tech session hopefully in a few months – happy to invest in that if all goes well with what I got already. We’ll see how it goes.

        All I need now is an espresso bar heh!

        BTW I’m posting the Aljazeera doc you linked to in a mo.

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