Thursday, September 29, 2005

You Are What You Post- Blogging Responsibility

You are what you eat. Right? Then, you are what you post. Right?

As a blogger, you are responsible for what you write. I answered this question of responsibility on WNAA 90.1FM, NC A&T's radio station, yesterday. I said that you are no less responsible then the Washington Post or New York Times. You are no less responsible then AP or Reuters. The main thing you are responsible for in your content is libel and slander. They are the two main components in defamation of character. This article on a law website explains in detail how this works.

As a blogger you are a publisher. You release your work to the world via the world wide web. You publish your work like Pendant and Simon and Schuster publishes books. If I write a story about how subject X does this when subject X really did that, it is a lie. If that lie defames the reputation of subject X, then I can be held responsible for libel in a court of law.

The reason I write this piece on ethics in blogging and the legal responsibility of a blogger is because of this post. I commented on this post that the writer should be careful what he posts, it borders on libel. He commented today on a post on my site, that has no relevance to the subject, a question of how he had slandered me. This here is the post to discuss it. My answer to his question is that you did not slander me or anyone else, but you did boarder on libel, according to the dictionary definition.

I want to be frank to all who read me and write about me. I use a creative commons license for my published work. It is copywritten. Quoting me in context is fine, out of context is not fine. Stealing my work and not crediting me is copyright infringement. When and if you write about me, be truthful and not mean. Use fact to back up your agreement or disagreement with me. It is OK to disagree with me and my points of view. It is not OK to label me inappropriately or to defame my community standing, which I think happens to be good.

I defend everyone's right to use the 1st amendment to the constitution as long as it is available to us all. I defended my commenter on his right to post at the local aggregrator Greensboro101. I serve on the editorial board for 101 and some of my commenters post were becoming a little bothersome for most, in my opinion. I didn't say he should be removed, censored, edited, or limited. No one on the board did. I said he has the right to post, just like the rest of us. I completely disagree with his point of view, but that does not change his rights, that just means I probably won't read or support him. I did say that he has to be responsible for his posts and that if he is quoting someone, ethics dictate that a link is appropriate at the spot of the quote.

When people call other people names, not a lot gets solved. Look how much I have solved my problem with our countries leader. He somehow still leads us. I will call it as I see it, but I will have fact, to back up the fact that I called someone a name or labeled someone. I expect the same out of everyone else. Civil discourse is OK. It is OK to have the discussion and argument. Uncivil discourse is not and then the argument turns into a personal attack on someone, to which you are responsible for your side of the dialogue. Think before you type, have your facts straight, and calculate your opinions. Look both ways before you blog. You might just find yourself in trouble if you don't.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Holy Crap, Talk Radio

I appeared this morning on NC A&T's radio station WNAA 90.1 FM. I was there to pimp Converge South. I appeared with Val Neiman from NC A&T. I knew it was a talk show, but I had no idea it was a call-in show. Surprise, surprise. We only fielded two phone calls. The first was a young lady who had just started blogging and asked what she couldn't do on a blog, what was wrong or illegal? My answer went something like this, "You pretty much have free reign on a blog, but there are some ethical guidelines to follow. You are responsible for what you say. You can't commit liable and slander. You are no less responsible then The Washington Post or The New York Times. Blogs are looked upon like a newswire, you are no different then say AP or Reuters." Question two came from a gentleman wanting to know why he should think anything on a blog is true. Val took this on first and did a wonderful job. He still wasn't satisfied. I added, "There are good and bad journalist. There are good and bad bloggers. It's pretty easy to read someone and tell who is who. We are a self policing community and if you make a mistake, you find out fast. Unlike newspapers we post our corrections immediately. We link to our sources, provide a "paper trail" of proof. We reveal our sources by linking. Remember Judith Miller, from the New York Times, is still in jail for refusal to reveal her sources." He accepted that and the calls were over.

I have been on the radio for interviews as a musician before, but not in the way it happened today, fielding calls from listeners. All in all, I feel it went really well. Val was super nice and incredibly intelligent. I had a wonderful and fun experience this morning. Thanks A&T.

A belated sorry to my fellow bloggers, friends and family for not telling you of this before it happened. The good news about this, my painting business is keeping me that busy.

Last Night Was A Success

The Greensboro Bloggers Candidates' Forum was a success. Back where it all started a little over a year ago, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC-Greensboro. Immediate memories of the first Piedmont Bloggers Conference, and the beginning of the snowball effect for the Greensboro blogging community. Less then two weeks from our Converge South Conference, and yet another milestone for our community. The Candidates' Forum held by and put together(even the questions) by bloggers. Particularly, Seymour Hardy Floyd and Roch Smith Jr.

The moderator for last nights forum was Michael Christopher, and he was brilliant. His spirit lightened the mood and opened up the candidates. Eight candidates to be in fact. All at-large candidates for city council. Three sitting councilmen, Don Vaughan, Florence Gatten and Yvonne Johnson. Five newcomers, Diane Davis, Sandra Anderson, Dave Howerton, Joel Landau and George Subasavage.

I must disclose that I can not vote for city council, because I currently live outside the city limits. My address still says Greensboro, but I am out of the districts for city council. I still have interest in who wins and loses, for Greensboro is my home and I care deeply about what is going on and who is running it.

I must also disclose that I submitted a question that was asked at last nights forum. My question was, "Where do you stand on the Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain?" Two candidates weighed in, first Dave Howerton and then Joel Landau jumped in. Mr Howerton responded with, "I am against it. It was a very bad decision." Joel Landau added," I am also against it and it was a very bad idea." They both gave more in depth responses, but that was the gist of their responses.

The two most disappointing moments of the evening were the Brush Creek pollution question and a question on support for domestic partnerships for city employees who are gay or lesbian. The Brush Creek question was,"The water in Brush Creek, a headwater in Greensboro's drinking supply, was recently tested at twelve times the legal limit for turbidity. Since 1998, Brush Creek has been officially declared as impaired by the state as a drinking water supply and many of Greensboro's other major steams have been classified by the state as impaired for years. What role do you think the city should play in addressing polluted ground water and do you think that role is being adequately filled?" None of the eight candidates, including the three sitting counsel people even knew about Brush Creek. They all agreed it was the councils responsibility to make sure our drinking water is clean and drinkable, but yet no one knew. I have know for months, as has most of the rest of the local blogisphere and our city council didn't know. I was shocked, well not really, but I wish they would have known.

The second disappointing moment of the night came from George Subasavage. The question was, "If elected would you support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens of this city by supporting domestic partner benefits from the city?" Mr Subasavage started his answer with, "That's going to be a hard one for me. I have some difficulties dealing with gay and lesbian activities." He answered no, a non-PC move towards political suicide if I have ever seen one. Especially in a blue county. Maybe if he were in say...Kansas? Then his answer would have won some votes, but not here.

My favorite quote from last night came from Yvonne Johnson about this question, "Do you support the creation of free city-wide wireless Internet zones?" Don Vaughan answered, saying that he didn't think the technology was there to make it cost-effective right now, but down the road in a couple of years, maybe ten years, it is possible. Yvonne jumped in adding, "It wouldn't surprise me if in 5 or 6 years this is the infastructure in most major cities." I can only hope she is right.

If you weren't there you need to surf around and read about it. You truly missed another shining moment in Greensboro for the local blogisphere. Blogsboro we are.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Alana Davis Performing At Converge South

Alana Davis will perform in Greensboro at Solaris, Saturday Oct 8th. She is the Converge South music headliner. Check out her website. Also performing that evening is local bluegrass/Americana band Swampboat. Alana will go on at 10:30pm. This will be a great close to a great conference. I would say a "must see" event, to anyone who asks.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Converge South Band Schedule- Friday Night

This is the finalized schedule for Converge South's music event for Friday night.

For official Press Release 9/19/05:

Converge South Music Schedule and Club Listing

October 7th, 2005
Solaris- Summit Ave.- Hard Rock
Headliner- 12pm- The Five L’s
11pm- Concrete Theory
10pm- Function

The Flat Iron- Summit Ave. -Adult Contemporary(featuring Jazz and Blues)
Headliner- 12pm- The Murray Street Band
11pm- Bruce Piephoff-
10pm- Miles Apart-
9pm- Tracy Thornton-
8:30pm- Jennifer Cockman-,

Chumley’s Pour House- Federal Pl.- College/Alt Rock
Headliner- 12pm- The Tremors
11pm- The Choosy Beggars-
10pm- Tommy Gun-
9pm- Michael Slawter of The Saving Graces-

Lyndon Street Artworks- Lyndon St.- Hip-hop/R&B
Headliner- Equinox
- The Alliance
- Heavy Contact and Will Zaybiane
- Bron G
- Ill Position(Ill Po)
- Karizmatic
- Tre Stylez
- Evin
- Young LThis
Show starts at 8:30pm at Lyndon St. Go to for more info.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Driving Lessons From Jay- Part2

What are all these lines on the road? What's up with all these signs? What do they mean?

There are lines on the pavement we drive on. They mean lots of different things. There is the solid double yellow line. It means you can't go on the other side of that line, it is the other side of the road. There is the single yellow line with dashes on alternating sides. This is the pass with care lines. You can go on the other side of the road to pass the slow ass driver in front of you as long as the dashes are on your side of the road. Then there are the most overlooked of road lines, the white dashes. This signifies the separation of lanes. So please, if you are hauling a latte in a Hummer, find a way to stay inside your own dashes. I know this is hard, being on the cell phone while changing DVD's, but it does prevent stupid accidents. This also applies to all other vehicles, especially old folks in Cadillac's and Lincoln's. The left most lane on your side of the road is the fast lane. The right most lane is the slow lane. So, if your going to drive 10 miles per hour under the speed limit, don't do it in the left hand lane. This causes road rage and the kind of beating hookers holding out on their pimps get.

What are all these signs? Stop. Yield. No U-turn. No left turn. You get the point. It is simple. If the sign says stop you (holy shit) stop. If the sign says yield then you yield, not stop. Reading these signs requires literacy which I tend to think a lot of driver don't have.

Here's the combo no no move. You see a no left turn sign while in the left hand lane. You somehow rationalize the fact that a right hand turn from the left lane is a good idea. It's not.

It's all pretty simple. Know your lines and read your signs. Just another public safety lesson from Jay.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Driving Lessons From Jay- Part1

The below picture shows a lever in everyones car. It is a turn signal lever. Generally it is found on the left side of your steering column. It is the most under used piece of machinery in your car. Why? Because people are either too lazy or too stupid to use this lever. It's use is simple. If you flip it up, you are signaling all the other drivers that you are turning right. If you flip the lever down, you are signaling all the other drivers that you are turning left. This notification allows drivers to the rear and side of you to know what you are thinking. Guessing is never fun. A lot of accidents may have never occured if the people involved had used their turn signal lever. It is also the law to use this lever to signal other drivers. Although the police don't seem to mind when you fail to do so.

I beg of all of you, use your turn signals. I would hate to have to get road rage and wind up beating you senseless with this very useful tool.

Please use this people!!!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Messier the Great, Skates Into The Wind

I still well up to this day. The 1994 NHL season was a dream for New York Rangers and their fans.

What a season. The then captain of the Rangers Mike Gartner traded away, Mark Messier is brought in. Changes all around. The team didn't gel at first, but these things take time. As time passed it was evident that this year there was a chance. It had been 54 years since the Rangers last hoisted the most prized trophy in history, The Stanley Cup. As the season progressed the Rangers extended their lead in the standings and the playoffs were about to begin. They breezed through the first round of the playoffs. Next up the arch rivals, The New York Islanders. We took that series too. Next up the dreaded New Jersey Devils.

Mark Messier was brought to New York to win a Stanley Cup. He had won four as an Edmonton Oiler with good pal Wayne Gretzky. Knowing the history, he came to New York, tall mission at hand. To bring the Stanley Cup to New York, as a Ranger, would be equivalent to walking on water.

I only went through 21 years of life to see what I saw next. Years with Berry Beck's slap shot, Maloney brothers lacing up, and John Davidson in net, not blocking much. These were painful years for a die hard fan to watch. Year after year of failure. You just started to expect it after a while, but you couldn't stop watching.

In a best of seven game series, the Rangers fell behind 3-2 to the Devils. Heading for a game at Continental Airlines Arena, in the swamps of the Meadowlands of New Jersey. It seemed like another doomed season. That afternoon at the press conference Mark Messier stood amongst the greats and said "We will win tonight. I guarantee it." Going into the final period of that game, Mark Messier pulled off one of the greats moments in NY sports history. Mark Messier scored a hat trick, three goals by himself, winning the game and returning the series to Madison Square Garden, for a winner take all game of games. Game seven ended tied after regulation. In the third overtime period, it happened. "Matteau, Matteau, Matteau!!!!". The puck crossed the goal line off the stick off Stephan Matteau and the New York Rangers were headed to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks. I still can't watch the time expire in game seven of the cup finals without shedding some tears. Mark Messier had delivered the Stanley Cup to the city of New York. Mark Messier was a hero, a legend, "the messiah"(his nickname from that day on). Marv Albert was ten stories below the ice surface in Penn Station and when time expired he said the train station shook.

I went to the parade in Manhattan, the "Canyon of Heroes", Broadway. They say that almost four million people came to the parade. I believe them. I couldn't even catch a glimpse of the man who made a promise to a city and kept it.

Mark Messier retired today after 25 seasons. He finished his career as the 2nd leading point scorer of all time, behind Wayne Gretzky and ahead of Gordie Howe. When I read the news, I welled up and reminisced about 1994 the season of Mark Messier. I will never forget the feeling he and his Rangers gave me. For that I thank you, a city owes you a debt of gratitude. As you skate away into the sunset, know that you touched millions of people, spanning generations, and you will always have a place in our hearts for keeping the promise of promises..."We will win tonight. I guarantee it."

Thank You Mark. It was a pleasure watching you. The memories will be forever.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Immigration and the Rebuilding of New Orleans

I have a good idea for the rebuilding of New Orleans. On the same day this idea pops in my head I get to read this article at Yahoo via Reuters on how firms with ties to Bush have secured contracts to rebuild.

On to my idea. With the growing concern about illegal aliens in the US and the Bush Administration removing the freedoms and liberties of citizens. We can have a compromise. The general feeling, from the Republicans in Washington, has been that the illegal aliens are here, so we need to get them legal. I have strongly disagreed for many reasons, as have a bunch of others. If you are going to grant them legal status then I feel they should have to earn it. Why not announce to illegals, who predominately work in the construction and laborer fields, that they can sign up locally to be moved to the affected areas to rebuild New Orleans and the gulf coast, and in return get paid to do so and at the end of the process will be granted legal citizenship in the US for them and their immediate families(wife, children). After all, the general consensus is that the illegals do jobs that Americans don't want to do.

This isn't to say that the people of New Orleans and the affected gulf coast shouldn't participate and be employed to help as well. I think the combination of the two would work to rebuild the area. Having Halliburton and the rest of the Bush cronies rebuild just keeps this undercover form of fascism, continuing to be a vicious cycle that hurts the non-wealthy.

This is just an idea, so weigh in and maybe we can help do what the government is to incapable of doing, have a plan.

NORML Announces New Video Blog Project

I recieved this e-mail from NORML director Allen St Pierre today:

September 10, 2005, Washington, DC: The National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), announces the NORML Video Blog,
( a FREE online international public
educational resource for the ever better organized marijuana law reform
and consumer community to showcase medical, industrial and personal use of

With this announcement, NORML’s Executive Director Allen St. Pierre
comments that “as the capabilities and availability of the Internet
progresses, NORML wants to ride this important wave of social, creative
and political entrepreneurialism that actively seeks bypassing traditional
media (i.e., newspapers, corporate wire services, network television and
radio, which largely support, or, in many instances, are paid clients of
the U.S. government’s anti-marijuana media campaign) and to demonstrate
strong public concern for continuing the practice of arresting,
prosecuting and in some instances incarcerating adult marijuana
FREE video hosting communities that have sprung up on the web over the
past six months will allow everyone with a marijuana story, a lament about
marijuana prohibition or a suggestion to America’s leaders to share it
with the world in a way that was not previously possible.

These sites include:


Volunteer contributors to the NORML Video Blog will data mine these
repositories as well as produce original programming. If you would like to
be a NORML Video Blog contributor, post a paragraph about yourself with a
link to your website, blog or videos in a comment of the most recent

Video Clips (2-7 minutes )

The Video Blog will showcase personal point-of-view stories, news reports,
cooking/how-to-shows, documentaries, music, art and educational

“During the summer, I shot a lot of video interviews and produced several
customer product testimonial videos seeking an organization that would
embrace video blogging and take it to the next level, “states Jack
Olmsted, NORML Video Blogger Coordinator. “The next level is to develop an
online video-on-demand syndicated channel that is distributed to Internet
TVs, PCs, PDAs, video iPods and cell phones and accessible to an
international audience anytime, anywhere. The management team at NORML has
the vision to step-up to the plate and be the pioneers in this emerging
communication, distribution frontier.”

-About NORML-
NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the
repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by
adults is no longer subject to penalty.

Since it’s founding in 1970, NORML has provided a voice in the public
policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and
favor an end to the practice of arresting marijuana smokers. A nonprofit
public-interest advocacy group, NORML represents the interests of the tens
of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly.

“For decades NORML has been hearing the sharp criticism of citizen
complaints that major media do not cover the failure and social costs of
marijuana prohibition—and in fact actively support this misguided and
expensive public policy. Now is the time and NORML stands ready to help
citizens and activists address the media’s abandoned but crucial role of
government watchdog regarding marijuana prohibition and alternative public
policies,” concludes NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre.


Jack Olmsted
NORML Video Blog Coordinator

Allen St. Pierre
Executive Director
NORML/NORML Foundation
1600 K St., NW
Ste. 501
Washington, DC 20006

Welcome to the blogisphere.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Lets...Play The Blame Game

How many times can you screw up your job before getting fired? I know that before I worked for myself, it didn't take much. One big screw up, and gone.

We are in the midst of big fuck up number three for the Bush Administration. First, evidence before 9/11 that could have averted the disaster, obviously botched. Then, lies and more lies to justify some Texas justice in Iraq. This is an ongoing botch. Now, New Orleans. The Bush Administration has really fucked up this time. Republican led cuts in the Army Corp of Engineers budget that would have gone to the levees in New Orleans, failure to get help to the people after the fact, and most recently passing the buck on the blame.

The President actually said of Mike Brown, director of FEMA, "Brownie, your doing a great job."

A lot of people say now is not the time for finger pointing. I say wrong. Someone must be held accountable and I say it starts with Mike Brown, who before FEMA, was a commissioner of judges and stewards for the IAHA, a show horse breeders and show horse association. By the way he was fired from that job that he held for 11 years for ....supervision failures. I guess as a house painter I would then by this logic qualify to be a nuclear physicist.

Next, we have W. This man, even in Republican circles, was and is seen as immature. Every business he has ever owned has been run into the ground. Why should the US Government be a different situation for ole W. The best career choice for this mental midget would have been a meteorologist. Why? I have said over and over, it's the only job you can be wrong every day of the week and not lose your job. Partly cloudy, slight chance of rain, never a decisive answer to anything, until it actually happens.

Impeach this man, there is way more reason then a blow job.

After W, anyone who failed the system for this crisis should be held accountable, Democrat or Republican. Something went tragically wrong, that is for sure. We lost a fantastic city, with great history and great people.

Barbara Bush took time away from her multi-million dollar estate in Houston to visit the Astrodome and actually said this(from Yahoo, via The Nation), "Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them." Basically, this is good enough for the poor. I now see where W gets it from.

The one good thing that could have come from this was that Fidel Castro offered up over 1500 doctors to come help. This could have been a historic moment for Cuba and the US, but Bush put politics first and refused the help. He also refused help from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who offered up cheaper gas for the country and money. For an administration who wants so much free trade, they continue to leave Cuba out of the mix. This could have been, historic, but will wind up a footnote at best.

The White House refuses to talk about accountability. They dodge better then anyone I have seen before. Check out this exchange at a White House Press Briefing via Matt Gross. I guess the one thing that has come of this is that the mainstream media is starting to grow back their balls.

Now my first prediction as Nostrablogger, self proclaimed blogging prophet. "I see no one being held accountable, no one will lose their jobs, there will be a cover up, and a Lyndee England style scape goat." That is what I see in my Pentium III LCD ball(well screen, but who's being particular).

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Friends In Places We Thought We Didn't Have

The aftermath of Katrina is yet another in a line of the Bush Administration's gross failures. Many counties have offered up foreign aide. Yesterday, the administration all but refused foreign aide, but today have changed their tone. You would not believe where some of it is coming from, I had to read it twice.

(From Yahoo, via Reuters) "Cuban President Fidel Castro, calling a "truce" in Havana's ideological enmity with Washington, offered to fly 1,100 doctors to Houston with 26 tons of medicine to treat people in the disaster area.

Castro's leftist ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offered to send cheap fuel but the State Department said a decision had not been made on whether to accept this offer."

Read the whole article here.

At least we know the people of Iraq are safer,...NOT. The people of New Orleans should have never, as American's, had to endure what they have had to endure. If the National Guard was where they are supposed to be, based at home instead of Iraq, these people would have been better off. Maybe, Halliburton can give back the billions they got in bonuses for their (lack of) work in Iraq, in the way off a donation to hurricane relief? It's Ok to hope isn't it?

This Administration is committing the greatest act of racism, since African American's were granted rights with a Constitutional Amendment. I guarantee if this was a bunch of rich white folks, they would have had them out of there in no time. I say this as a white male, and it makes me ashamed of my governments actions. I just waiting for Bush to come to the podium with a white hood. Nothing would surprise me at this point.

If you can, donate directly to for hurricane relief. My poor ass is going to, and I can barely afford to feed my family. Your poor asses should too. Even $5 can help.

Another note: Matt Gross has great quotes and coverage of the Administration's failure in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. You should check it out.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.