jazzoLOG - Category: Diary    
 Time To Go, Part 229 comments
picture20 Aug 2009 @ 10:04
The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.

---Albert Einstein

Tell the Truth but tell it slant...
The Truth must dazzle gradually
or every man be blind.

---Emily Dickinson

Behind all this, some great happiness is hiding.

---Yehuda Amichai

Photo of Liskula Cohen

Canadian model gets Google to unmask a nasty blogger
Simon Avery
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Last updated on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009 02:55AM EDT

A Canadian model has won a landmark case against Google Inc. that could strip away some of the anonymity provided by the Web, making people who post offensive blogs, videos or tweets more responsible for their defamatory statements.

Liskula Cohen, who once graced the covers of such high-fashion magazines as Vogue and Flare, won a court order in New York that has forced Google to unmask the identity of a blogger who posted photos and derogatory comments about her.

At issue were five posts made a year ago, using Google's blogging service, on a now-defunct site named “Skanks of NYC.” Ms. Cohen, 37, claimed the blogger posted photographs and “defamatory statements concerning her appearance, hygiene and sexual conduct that are malicious and untrue.”

Her lawyer argued that she could not bring a defamation suit against the blogger unless the search-engine giant released the person's identity.

The case spotlights a new area of law where legal standards are still being worked out, said Steven Wagner, the New York-based lawyer who represented Ms. Cohen.

“People who behave poorly and defame people on the Internet will face possible repercussions,” he said in a phone interview. “This is one of a series of cases that is establishing a standard. The standard is not set yet.”

Mr. Wagner said one of the most important things in the case is that Madam Justice Joan Madden of the Supreme Court of the State of New York used established law and did not distinguish between the online and offline worlds for judging both defamation and free speech.

Google spokeswoman Tamara Micner would not comment on how Google saw the case affecting its blogging service. But in a prepared statement, she said, “We sympathize with anyone who may be the victim of cyberbullying. We also take great care to respect privacy concerns and will only provide information about a user in response to a subpoena or other court order. If content is found by a court to be defamatory, we will of course remove it immediately.”

Google handed over details about the blogger as ordered this week and Ms. Cohen learned that the person was an acquaintance of hers from the New York social scene.

In an interview with U.S. national television Wednesday, Ms. Cohen said she forgave the blogger and dismissed her as “an irrelevant person in my life.”

Mr. Wagner, however, said his client would definitely proceed with a defamation suit against the blogger.

In court filings, Ms. Cohen said she “suffered damages including personal humiliation, mental anguish and damage to her reputation and standing in the community and in her industry” as a result of the offensive postings.

Ms. Cohen began her professional modelling career at 17 after leaving Toronto and moving to Paris. She has worked for some of the top names in the fashion industry, including Armani and Versace.

She has been the victim of bullying before. In 2007, a man at a Manhattan nightclub cut her face with broken glass, requiring her to get 46 stitches and, later, plastic surgery. Her attacker was sentenced to a year in prison and three years probation.

[link]  More >

 Time To Go107 comments
picture20 Jan 2009 @ 11:39
Whereof one cannot speak, thereon one must remain silent.

---Ludwig Wittgenstein

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

---Naguib Mahfouz

Storm passes, watch the pines change color.
Out along the mountain, through the source,
flowers in the stream reveal Zen's meaning:
nothing in between, all words gone.

---Liu Ch'ang-Ch'ing

The art is by Erica Magnus, the mother of my daughter-in-law Karen. Please take a few moments to visit her website [link] .

This is my final post at jazzoLOG. I began the thing on February 4, 2002, at the suggestion of a friend here who thought my writing would help people get to know me. I just had accepted the invitation of another friend to join New Civilization Network, and already had run into conflict with someone. It was my inexperience with NCN Groups that was part of the problem, but at the time I really didn't understand much of anything about the site. All 3 of those people have quit this place by now.

I've continued on for 2 reasons: I found it was fun to write a Log, and I felt great potential for NCN where very interesting people from all over the world were congregating. Shortly some of us thought we had some sort of international community forming online. At the time it was a thrilling innovation, and perhaps marked new possibilities for the Internet. Maybe there was more we could do than just exchange basic information. Perhaps here was a new form of relationship.

Some had ideas about changing the technical aspects of the site to accomodate this evolution. I had no knowledge of such matters but I liked the idea of bringing this interpretation of "new civilization" to fruition. Flemming Funch, the webmaster and creator, replied that maybe yes, that could be true...but he needed to think about it. And he didn't want anybody rushing ahead; so the reins of technical control remained in his hands alone. They still do.

At the same time, an element of abrasion persisted at NCN. There were and are members who enjoy NCN for the recreation it provides...and at least some of that fun for them is the use of flames with which to engulf people who have different opinions. Disagreement can be accomplished in a number of ways, and disrespectful bullying has a great, if egomaniacal, history on the Internet...and elsewhere in America, even High Places. However, it creates a quality of anxiety at a site that makes people jumpy. It's frightening and not conducive to what many new members are seeking when they come in here.

When approached on this issue, Flemming has resisted response. He doesn't want to interfere and if people tear each other apart and some leave, so be it. Anyway, he reminds us repeatedly and constantly that this "public area" was an afterthought, and ultimately he regrets ever creating it. The emphasis of NCN is on the "network" part, not the civilization. NCN is a place for movers and shakers, entrepreneurs who have things and services for sale. As my suggesting friend said when he quit the site, NCN is a message board. It's the OLD Internet civilization of exchanging contact information and maybe arranging meetings in Malibu to schmooze.

Nearly everyone else with whom I had connection in that "community phase" has moved on too. Flemming says that's OK, because the function of NCN is to make the contact and then get on out and change the world. They go because they have better things to do than hang around chat rooms and blogs. Maybe so, but almost every one of those people has expressed resentment and disappointment upon leaving. It's rare that we see someone say, "Thanks so much NCN for providing the opportunity to meet the valuable folks who are helping me on my way! Farewell!"

Over the past year at least, jazzoLOG has suffered results of this exodus. There are new, delightful people passing through here all the time, but they rarely visit or comment at my Log. One reason I think is the abrasive contention I mentioned before. Nearly every article I write lately has drawn the kind of flames that makes my creation an unpleasant experience. I've grown ashamed of jazzoLOG here, and no longer recommend it to people. Who would want to read the insane rage of one or two members? Who cares?

Now one of those people is going through my Log deleting his comments. My work looks like a bombed site in Gaza, a shell of what it used to be. People's cries of distress at what was being said to them still hang in the air. A bulldozer has arrived and shoved down their opinions with families still inside. Perhaps old soldiers are proud of the empty shells they've created with their rockets and mortars. Maybe they can stand before such a place and say, "There used to be a school here, but what the fuck can you learn in a school anyway? Just a bunch of old cunts who can't do anything else with their lives. I'm happy I blew it up!"

So while I will not be adding anything to jazzoLOG, I'll leave it here. It's an empty, bombed-out shell but maybe it's also a monument to at least one period of the New Civilization Network. Oh and before I forget, one other thing I used to do around here is review the other Logs for publication on the splash page. Before Flemming let me do it, he had a robot thing pick the articles. Someone might tell him to put that feature back so time doesn't stop out there.

Now I have a little space left before going to work. I guess I'll use it up by celebrating both Martin Luther King Jr. and our Inauguration Day in the United States. Hey, it's the end of The Era of Ronald Reagan!  More >

 Obama In Ohio52 comments
picture11 Oct 2008 @ 12:43
While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There is one certainty of the future of a people of the resources, intelligence and character of the people of the United States---that is, prosperity.

---President Herbert Hoover - May 1, 1930

Losing a job is painful, and I know Americans are concerned about our economy; so am I. It's clear our economy has slowed, but the good news is, we anticipated this and took decisive action to bolster the economy, by passing a growth package that will put money into the hands of American workers and businesses.

---President George W. Bush - March 7, 2008
on news that the economy lost 63,000 payroll jobs in February.

The singular feature of the great crash of '29 was that the worst continued to worsen.

---John Kenneth Galbraith.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D), Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio), Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) during a campaign rally at the Ross County Courthouse on Oct. 10, 2008 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
(Mark Lyons/Getty Images)

Barack Obama campaigned in Ohio before this week, but his emphasis consistently had been upon the cities in the northern part of the state. Toledo, Cleveland, Youngstown. He had touched Columbus, in Central Ohio, and even swooped down for an invitation-only appearance at Hocking College in Nelsonville before the primary. I didn't get an invitation or even hear about the visit, as there was a huge push to get-out-the-vote that day at Obama headquarters in our town. I resented that his visit wasn't open to all and, even more, that he didn't make a surprise stop down here to cheer on the thousands of OU and Athens City students who were knocking door-to-door. It's a 10 minute drive, and would have made up a bit for ignoring Southeast Ohio.

I'm not stung because it's an ego thing. Southern Ohio is very different from Northern. Southwestern Ohio is dominated by Cincinnati but Athens, despite Ohio University's presence here, is too small a city to dominate anything. As my conservative friend at work reminds me constantly, Athens is a little blue island in an ocean of red. A couple hours drive 2 weeks ago along Route 50 from Athens west to Chillicothe took me past yard after yard, farm after farm, loaded with McCain-Palin signs, flags and spangles flapping everywhere. As Governor Strickland said in Athens last month, if Kerry and Gore lost Ohio it's because of politics right here.

It's true Michelle Obama appeared at OU during primary season, and I'll bet you it was one of the highlights of her campaigning. But that's not the same as the candidate himself showing an interest in the "West Virginia part of Ohio," and maybe providing a convenient opportunity for some Republicans to check him out. His 2-day tour of Southern Ohio featured spectacular appearances in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Portsmouth on Thursday, and Chillicothe and Columbus yesterday. It's a straight shot northeast from Portsmouth to Chillicothe to Columbus---and it cut us out completely...unless we wanted to take the time off yesterday for the workday-scheduled speeches, or stagger through Friday after arriving home past midnight from 2 hours of travel, which we did (if you drive the speed limit, which we didn't).  More >

 What To Do In The Belly Of The Beast5 comments
picture5 Jun 2008 @ 10:00
We're not a democracy. It's a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we're a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy.

---Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

---Thomas Jefferson

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

---Abraham Lincoln

The photo, taken by Allison Zarcaro Walker last Saturday, is of the marriage of 2 families, the Carlsons and the Thomases.

Today happens to be the birthday of both Adam Smith, born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland (1723), and John Maynard Keynes, born in Cambridge, England (1883). These 2 pillars of the form of economics called Capitalism are for many in the United States the real Founding Fathers of our country. Smith said that market forces serve the public good, and that government regulation, for the most part, does not. Keynes wrote a book during the Great Depression that argued governments can put people back to work by spending lots of money, even if it means running a deficit. FDR tried it. Since Reagan, certainly continuing with the Bushes, and promised renewal by McCain, our country has received its direction from corporate boardrooms more than the Congress.

Somehow this seems the perfect day to reply to a very important email I received last month. It has been high in my priorities on this machine to do so, but the passion with which it was written needs to be matched by me...and that has taken some time to fuel up. The letter is from a friend and colleague at the school where we both work. I would love to identify him specifically, and maybe I will later if he gives me the high sign to do so. But I want to write this now and so I shall be vague. Besides his academic duties, this man coaches sports. Athletics is extremely important to him, almost as important as his family, living a healthy life and being as self-sufficient as possible. I've known him for 10 years, and I have to say that when it comes to my work with multi-handicapped kids I often turn to him, rather than psychologists and medical people, for an opinion on what challenges the student has to deal with. He can have a kid stand on one foot and tell me what processing is going on. So I trust him and we agree on a lot of stuff---though maybe not on whether theater or sports should get more funding.
Anyway, he replied to something I sent out about the environment and climate change. He said that increasingly his work, the chores at home, the plans for the future, all pale when he looks around at what humans have done, and continue to do, to this planet. He says a change in lifestyle is what's necessary, and few people I know are more serious about it. It's amazing to see someone make that change when they set about to do it. It's a huge commitment, and it might even mean moving somewhere else. People are starting to do that. But he knows he can't do it alone, and he looks to friends and family for support and cooperation. It's not always there. Other people we both see are not doing anything apparently. Many become hostile at the mere mention of the problems we see. They don't want to hear about it. It's not a topic for social discussion in a school.  More >

 Energy Efficiency Makeover: One Homeowner's Story8 comments
picture7 Mar 2008 @ 09:59
Energy efficiency---using improved technology and operations to deliver the same energy services with less fuel---is the foundation on which all of our other recommendations are based.

---Sierra Club Energy Policy Statement

When you do something, you should burn completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.

---Shunryu Suzuki

My religion is to live and die without regret.


Coastal ice melts in the city of Longyearbyen, in Norway's Svalbard Islands, on Feb. 27, 2008. Record-high temperatures have left people here wondering whether the melting ice is all a fluke in the fluctuating weather system, or a troubling sign of a warming world. (AP Photo/John McConnico) Full story here [link]

The March-April newsletter of the Appalachian Ohio Group of the Sierra Club is out. A feature article in Footnotes From The Foothills this time was written by my wife to describe weatherization work she initiated on our house last summer. It was a major operation, employed 3 different workcrews (sometimes all at once) and cost a lot. There's a teeny tax credit you can get for this stuff, but mostly we did it to reduce our footprint and hopefully save money in the long run.  More >

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