Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My alter ego rides again...

Cool Cleveland » A BFD post and “Death of Journalism” Prequel--good commentary here about Tim Russo, and from Tim Russo. It's about time for Democracy Guy to hop up and get back in the saddle again, IMHO. Independence is good. Anything less, like this coattails schtick on BFD, is, well, just less.

Tim's too valuable merely to be popping up here and there as a guest blogger, as the ersatz Grey Ghost of the Blogosphere--he needs to be a daily staple, predictably positioned, and what better place would there be to do this than on a resurrected Democracy Guy?

Go Tim.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bridget Ginley and the economics of art in these parts

Fascinating comment on BFD--much food for thought. Bridget's talking about what she knows and what she's seen firsthand, I would think.

Monday, August 21, 2006

replying to our senator's weaseling answer to the net neutrality issue

I'm sharing this reply of mine. if anybody thinks I'm being unfair or off-base, please say so. I'm not terribly confident in this guy any more.

Senator DeWine--

I just got this email reply from you concerning net neutrality and find it vague and unsatisfying. It sounds to me like you're getting set to conspire to hijack something that is not yours in the first place, but I can't be sure because you are noncommittal.

Please speak plainly.

As someone who's your age, a fellow registered Republican and a former infantry officer from the period during which you were in law school, I'm doing that for you, and I expect you to reciprocate.

Where exactly do you stand as my representative on the issue of defending our net neutrality?

Dear Tim:

Thank you for contacting me about our Nation's broadband infrastructure. I appreciate knowingyour views on this issue.

As you may know, on May 1, 2006, the communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006, was introduced in the Senate and is now pending before the Senate Commerce Committee. This bill addresses universal service reform, streamlining of the video franchising process, interoperability of public safety communications systems, and municipal broadband ownership, among other things. This bill also would require the FCC to report annually to Congress on issuers surrounding Internet neutrality.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime

Very respectfully yours,
United States Senator

Disclaimer: The email account that this message originated from does not accept inbound messages, therefore please send all electronic correspondence through our webform located at:

P.S.--I've made this an open letter and posted it to my blogsite at http://timferris.blogspot.com/

can NEO handle TheGame?

Sarano Kelley - Capital Regions School System Game--Here's a video about one of our friends and influencers, Sarano Kelley, and the magic he has begun to work with the schools up around the New York State capital. It's a compelling story.

Personally, I've been through two 90-day games since 2004 and am starting a third at the age of 59. I really could have used something like this when I was in high school, or perhaps even earlier. To give it all perspective, Sarano was born when I was a sophomore in high school.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Foley Jones & MTB

Foley Jones leaves race for judge vs. Russo:
This should make her MeetTheBloggers session this coming Friday, August 25th, that much more interesting. Stay tuned.
"Peggy Foley Jones, the Republican candidate and a former judge, said she will join the law firm of Giffen and Kaminski, where she will establish an arbitration and mediation division for business litigation. "

"no more room for excuses"

On Making Enrollment in a 401(k) Automatic - New York Times: "The Pension Protection Act, signed this week by President Bush, gives companies no more room for excuses. They will be allowed to stick their employees into a 401(k) and, in many circumstances, offer them some financial advice. But it isn’t clear that the law will set off a wave of more savings unless employees take a bit of initiative.
The law allows companies to enroll employees in a 401(k) plan automatically unless they choose to opt out. Auto enrollment uses the human tendency toward procrastination, inertia or avoidance to the employee’s advantage.
“They have to make the choice that they don’t want to save,” said Jeffrey R. Carney, president of Fidelity Retirement Services, the nation’s largest provider of 401(k) plans. "

Friday, August 18, 2006

best synopsis yet on speed reading

Rock Town » Blog Archive » Speed-Reading Techniques [from http://www.indwes.edu/tuesday/speed.htm]
Believe it or not, I used to teach/implement/monitor (whatever it was we were doing) speed-reading courses at the US Army Infantry School back in the early '70s, using some kind of prepackaged material employing workbooks and tapes and timers. It's a critical skill I've grown away from, and this synopsis is helping me get back on track, along with the emphasis on speed reading in the Sarano Kelley business coaching program, where I'm beginning my third 90-day "game" since late 2004. I have bushels of things I have to tear through, lest I permanently biff my feng shue, which is the stuff of true tragedy.

is this our "Cleveland Steve" or "Phoenix Steve" Goldberg?

News from PC Magazine: Testing Google's Wi-Fi Network: "'It takes 10 years or more for wireless infrastructure to mature and become a viable useful commodity in our lives,' said Steve Goldberg, a venture capitalist with Venrock Associates, at the MuniWireless conference in June. 'It's going to take a few years for things to settle out. Cellular is going to get better, Wi-Fi is certainly is going to get better and WiMax is going to be out there too.'"

Good info in the article, too. Read it all.

Dvorak dredges up my past

Elvis predicted the dot-com crash - MarketWatch--I had no idea that John C. Dvorak also wrote material for MarketWatch. I also failed to note the passing of the Elvis death anniversary this year, until he reminded me of it. At the time, I was working one of my three Atlanta boom-time jobs, this one at a liquor store on the Buford Highway, babysitting my 10-month-old daughter, who was wearing a sunbonnet and sitting on the counter next to the cash register, when the news hit and the world stopped for a moment. Then it began buying liquor, beer, and wine again. I forget exactly how the register tapes read that night, but I think we had a really good finish to the sales day. Somehow, this is a poignant memory, a placemark. I had no idea that Dvorak had any evocative value, either.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

can we learn some lessons here?

New York Area Is a Magnet for Graduates - New York Times
The data in in the multimedia frame to the left of the article is compelling--big changes happened in Manhattan over the last 5 years. What's interesting to me is how government costs, crime rates, and the need for social services go down as educational levels go up. In Cleveland, therefore, the unions, the nonprofits, and the government would suffer if we had a better-educated population; they have some truly perverse incentives to keep the educational levels low and people dependent on them.

OneCleveland, what have you done for us lately?

Google Says It Has No Plans for National Wi-Fi Service - New York Times
Steve Goldberg and Bill Callahan are helping us with making our neighborhood, Archwood-Denison, a.k.a. Brooklyn Centre, a Wi-Fi paradise. Gosh, would I like to have a setup like Mountain View, poof, just like that, just because we were there. Around here, we have to do it ourselves. We can't afford to wait around on our government, our nonprofits and foundations, or our local big businesses. What has OneCleveland done for any of us lately? From my point of view, it's all talk, no action, and "business as usual" in a town where most of us go nowhere, because we wait on promises to materialize, and they don't. It's time to shake a few things loose.

...Competitive Internet access has been a crucial issue for Google’s executives, who have jousted publicly with telephone and cable industry companies that have threatened to charge content providers for access to networks. The debate has extended to Washington, where Google and its allies have called for regulators and legislators to ensure what proponents call “Net neutrality.”
“I think there wouldn’t be a Net neutrality debate in this country if we really had a competitive environment for access,” said Chris Sacca, a Google executive who heads special initiatives for the company. “The Internet is not pervasive as it could be, or democratic....”

meltdown at Dell

News from PC Magazine: Dell To Announce Massive Laptop Battery Recall: "Although Dell officials did not comment on how the battery risk was discovered, two recent high-profile incidents involved Dell batteries spectacularly exploding. In the first, a Japanese businessman watched his Dell notebook go up in smoke in late May. More recently, a worker in Illinois watched his own Dell laptop melt. "

Hey, I guess we're really lucky--we just watched ours, in a Dell Inspiron laptop, not work any more after a couple of months. The laptop has been on life support, plugged into the wall socket, ever since.

Then, after having keyboard problems for ages with this Inspiron laptop, we got notice in the mail that Dell had lost a class-action lawsuit and would submit to replacing our keyboard, now that they were being forced. One thing I figure I can count on now, with Dell, is that they will take care of their own interests first, until they are forced by overwhelming evidence to take care of the customers' interests--they're using the Ford Motor Company business model for customer relations. I personally have voted with my feet. Our two Dells languish until they die, and we are now buying IBM for anything new in the business. We had had it with Dell a long time ago.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

good news: it's opportunity time

Home-price gains slow in many cities nationwide - MarketWatch: "The biggest year-over-year decline came in Danville, Ill., where prices fell 11.2%. The rest of the top 10: Detroit, Mich.; Davenport, Iowa; Rockport, Ill.; Cleveland, Ohio; Youngstown, Ohio; Green Bay, Wis.; Yakima, Wash.; Bloomington, Ill.; and Toledo, Ohio. "

Instead of wailing and rending our garments, for a change how about cranking up a killer marketing campaign, with the Columbo-like close of, "And by the way, we're cheap." We do have it all right here, and it's affordable, and we don't have to offer any more tax abatement to be attractive. There are enough incentives there naturally, and it's time to put an end the civic inferiority complex.

August 15th: "The Feast"

Cleveland - Little Italy an urban neighborhood with fine restaurants, galleries, and specialty stores--This sure has been a jam-packed summer, and we almost blew by "The Feast." Today's the last day. Here's the text from the site:
Feast of the Assumption August 12, 13, 14, & 15 - We look forward to seeing you! The Feast of the Assumption officially begins at noon Saturday. There are rides for kids in the churchyard, entertainment throughout the day, and lots to eat at various stands on Mayfield Rd. Most of the shops will be open extended hours, so this is a fine time to visit Little Italy. The schedule of events will be repeated on Sunday. On Monday the opening time is 6 pm for the church festivities but shops will be open at noon. Tuesday is the big day to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. It starts with mass at 10 am followed by a procession, it has been a religious tribute for 108 years, continuing into the night and ending about 11pm with fireworks.

Monday, August 14, 2006

but first, let's define "free markets"

FCC's McDowell Pushes Free Markets
On the surface, what he says sounds fine to me, but it's sort of open-ended. Read it yourself, see what you think.

more convergence, as Segways approach bike-ness

New Segways Steer Like a Bike
We could have used knobby tires on our Segway at the Burning River Fest last weekend, and going out Carnegie later today, we would probably want racing slicks. Do you think Segway riders will ever take over bars and small towns and have their own leathers and colors? Can we make a Segway B-movie?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

seems Shakira has set the country free

this internet is getting to be a whole lot of fun--enjoy--dance along

Friday, August 11, 2006

tomorrow, on Whiskey Island, 11-8

Great Lakes Brewing Company Burning River Fest
Isn't this just the best logo? We're planning on being there tomorrow for the duration with the Meet.The.Bloggers* contingent, booking sessions for the last two quarters of this year.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

we've been saying this for years...

Vote — or Else - New York Times: "The unhappy effects of low turnout are clear: ever-greater polarization in the country and in Washington, which in turn has led to ever-more rancor and ever-less legislative progress.
Here’s why. With participation rates of about 10 percent or less of the eligible electorate in many primaries to 35 percent or so in midterm general elections to 50 percent or 60 percent in presidential contests, the name of the game for parties is turnout — and the key to success is turning out one’s ideological base. Whichever party does a better job getting its base to the polls reaps the rewards of majority status.
And what’s the best way to get your base to show up at the polls? Focus on divisive issues that underscore the differences between the parties."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mountain live at the Beat Club

Here's a clip of Mountain from the Beat Club, whatever that was, around 1970. I missed it.

the priceless "database of intentions"

A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749 - New York Times

John Battelle, the author of the 2005 book “The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture,” said AOL’s misstep, while unfortunate, could have a silver lining if people began to understand just what was at stake. In his book, he says search engines are mining the priceless “database of intentions” formed by the world’s search requests.

“It’s only by these kinds of screw-ups and unintended behind-the-curtain views that we can push this dialogue along,” Mr. Battelle said. “As unhappy as I am to see this data on people leaked, I’m heartened that we will have this conversation as a culture, which is long overdue.”

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"Is this not the buying of votes any more, but of history?"

Kennedy history for sale - The Boston Globe
Quirky international copyright laws, and an interesting twist by the Kennedy clan.

In the case of literary giants such as James Joyce -- whose grandson is halting even public readings of ``Ulysses," according to his whim -- this is a nightmare. In the case of non-creative personalities who, nevertheless, have had a prominent role in history (good or bad), it produces an educational disgrace. For 70 years after a person's death, every word he or she uttered will be literally owned by his surviving family -- who can then either impose silence on historians, or give access and copyright permission to those who can be counted upon to cast their ancestor in a good light.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Economic Development Futures Journal: Tennessee Rated #1 by Business Facilities

Economic Development Futures Journal: Tennessee Rated #1 by Business Facilities
This is good news for our contingent in Knoxville, and it's sort of what we suspected, judging from the level of play in their business community. There's an excitement in the air down there, and it's invigorating--reminds me of Atlanta in the mid-70s.

strange mating ritual: odd bedfellows

Investors, Including Bono, Buy a Piece of Forbes - New York Times
Odd as it may appear on the surface, this is actually some very exciting stuff.

The Forbes company and Elevation circled each other for several months — Mr. Forbes and Mr. McNamee both described it as a mating ritual — before getting down to serious negotiations in the last several weeks, concluding Friday with the signing of documents. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but some people said that the deal gave Elevation a stake of more than 40 percent at a cost of $250 million to $300 million.

Those people, however, did not have firsthand knowledge of the transaction, and no one directly involved in the deal would confirm those numbers. Even though Forbes has now taken on partners, it continues to be an exceedingly private enterprise.

Proceeds from the sale will be used both to invest in the business and to pay out money to members of the family.

Mr. McNamee called the alliance with Forbes a “brand-defining moment” for Elevation, a relatively new partnership conceived by a rock star and guided by some of the more successful venture capitalists on the West Coast.

“It says that we are in the business of helping content creators in the traditional media world manage the transition imposed by the Internet,” he said. Bono was not directly involved in the Forbes meetings, but Mr. McNamee said that the singer was attracted to the magazine because it “has a point of view,” adding that Bono “drove this part of the discussion and likes the fact that there has been a consistent philosophy throughout its history.”

But it was clear from talking with Mr. McNamee that his group was buying into a Web site with a magazine attached, as opposed to the other way around. Forbes.com had 10 million unique visitors worldwide, a very robust number, in June, according to comScore Media Metrix.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

New Registration Rules Stir Voter Debate in Ohio - New York Times

New Registration Rules Stir Voter Debate in Ohio - New York Times: "CLEVELAND — For Tony Minor, the pastor of the Community of Faith Assembly in a run-down section of East Cleveland, Ohio’s new voter registration rules have meant spending two extra hours a day collecting half as many registration cards from new voters as he did in past years.
Republicans say the new rules are needed to prevent fraud, but Democrats say they are making it much harder to register the poor.
In the last year, six states have passed such restrictions, and in three states, including Ohio, civic groups have filed lawsuits, arguing that the rules disproportionately affect poor neighborhoods.
But nowhere have the rules been as fiercely debated as here, partly because they are being administered by J. Kenneth Blackwell, the secretary of state and the Republican candidate in one of the most closely watched governor’s races in the country, a contest that will be affected by the voter registration rules. Mr. Blackwell did not write the law, but he has been accused of imposing regulations that are more restrictive than was intended."

Once again, Ohio's in the forefront of the controversy over voting and access to the process. There are lots of good links and graphics here in the sidebar.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hear Chris Ronayne, and learn about Walk and Roll, too

Meet the Bloggers » Meet The Bloggers: Chris Ronayne--The podcast is now posted, but the comments aren't done yet, and there's no way you can see a synopsis of the discussion. There is an event tomorrow, Sunday, that you might want to hear more about, so take a trip over to MTB to hear Chris talk about the August 6th Walk and Roll, being staged by our friend & neighbor Lois Moss, from 11 AM to 5 PM.

Gloria Ferris: number one in many ways

blueohioan: The bloggapalooza Interviews : Gloria Ferris. Gloria's number one in many ways for me and a good number of others she's birthed, raised, or adopted, but she is also the very first to be interviewed on Anthony's blueohioan.

I'm learning to use the Create a Link feature, from Anthony's site to here, but I guess it only works among Blogger accounts. Anyawy, today I notice that he's already up to #17, with Bridgette Ginley.

Ohio Earn and Learn: The Subliminals

Allwords.com Definition of ole: I wonder if the flaks for Ohio Learn and Earn considered the subliminal Spanish cry of "ole" in their OLE acronymn. Usually, the traditional cheer follows close on a bull's getting artfully faked out by some tricked-out guy waving a red cape, which right at the last minute disappears into thin air. There may be a lesson here, muchacho.



1. Especially associated with Spanish dancing and bullfighting, etc: expressing approval, support or encouragement, etc.
2. An expression of triumph.


1. A cry of ‘olé'.

Etymology: 1920s: Spanish, meaning ‘bravo'."

The dog: Man's best friend, arbiter of true value

Dog destroys Elvis' teddy bear at museum - Boston.com: I sympathize and side with the dog. I feel this way a lot of the time, too, but moreso around "Sweet Nothings" and other schmaltzy ceramic lines. Go Barney. Yay. This story featuring "the dog as arbiter of true value" helps put things in perspective.

"LONDON --A guard dog has ripped apart a collection of rare teddy bears, including one once owned by Elvis Presley, during a rampage at a children's museum.
'He just went berserk,' said Daniel Medley, general manager of the Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England, where hundreds of bears were chewed up Tuesday night by the 6-year-old Doberman pinscher named Barney.

Barney ripped the head off a brown stuffed bear once owned by the young Presley during the attack, leaving fluffy stuffing and bits of bears' limbs and heads on the museum floor. The bear, named Mabel, was made in 1909 by the German manufacturer Steiff."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Muggers, Lovers, and Thieves

Debtors' Hell | Part 3 | Behind the badge | Boston Globe/Boston.com
The Standells got it right with Dirty Water, and the GLOBE investigative reporters are continuing to get it right with this third part of the series of four. Today it's about the constabulary's mugging the public.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mugging the Public II

Official Ohio Learn and Earn Blog » Ohio Learn and Earn Committee Response to Ohio Council of Churches Statements--There's a lot of this "mugging the public" going around these days, this time by Ohio Earn and Learn. I'm glad Gloria and I didn't sign the petition in the first place, because I certainly would not have known the name of the young man who approached me at the West Side Market and told me he was getting $1 for each signature, and he said he did believe in what he was pushing, because now he could go to college. He was in his mid-teens. He had been conned, and he was unwittingly trying to con me.

Just because they have this blogsite listed in their sidebar on Ohio Earn and Learn does not constitute my endorsing their specious arguments--I don't. They never asked permission. They assume too much, in many, many ways, and they need to be taken to task. This is a massive con.

We have to start talking about responsibility and truth in political matters, just the same as we require full and honest disclosure when it comes to things like contracts and finances, and we need to exact penalties on liars and public-relations con men and perhaps even bar them from the business of speaking to the public on matters where the public would put their trust in what is spoken.

The Ohio Earn and Learners are selling their fellow citizens down the river. They need to be regulated. They need to be sanctioned. They need to be held to a minimal standard of truth.