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 Time To Go, Part 227 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 Go108 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 >

 From Duke 'N Satch To Obama: A Personal Triumph14 comments
picture16 Jan 2009 @ 13:16
I have been asked many questions in my life about poetry, religion, life, and I have given precisely the same number of answers, but I have never, I repeat, never, satisfied a single interlocuter. Why? Because all questioning is a way of avoiding the real answer, which, as Zen tells us, is really known already. Every man is enlightened, but wishes he wasn't. Every man knows he must love his enemies, and sell all he has and give to the poor, but he doesn't wish to know it---so he asks questions.

---R.H. Blyth

When a man is instantly awakened, he comes back to his original mind.

---The Vimalakirti Sutra

As naturally as the oak bears an acorn and the vine a gourd, man bears a poem, either spoken or done.

---Henry David Thoreau

During the 2008 presidential election campaign, I did not think of Barack Obama as a black man. He mentioned his racial origins himself from time to time, referring to his mother and grandmother when he did so. As president-elect he said, before all the other ferocious issues fell upon him, the most important decision was what kind of dog to get that he had promised his daughters. He'd like to find a mongrel, a mutt, like he is, he said, himself. I really liked that! I like thinking of him as the Melting Pot personified...and I said so one evening at Obama Headquarters here in Athens, Ohio. I realized race is a sensitive issue, even in there, but I was pleased no one seemed shocked or obviously uncomfortable.

With our first lady-elect, it's different. When Michelle Obama started to talk about her origins, the whole Civil Rights Movement came pouring out. I was in a huge audience here one of the times she stood on a stage and did that, my daughter on my left and a black single mom, in graduate school at OU, on my right. All around us were obvious members of every race and mix in the land, and it was thrilling. I was one of the people telling everybody who would listen that I hadn't felt this happy exhilaration in 45 years. That was when there were interracial agencies and programs for educational and neighborhood encouragement. Black and white, we got to know each other intimately sometimes, dance together, party in each other's houses, and---yes---argue. Races in Michelle's audience looked at each other joyfully that way, and I too felt really proud to be an American again---after a long time.

Well, she capitulated to the image makers a bit and I was disappointed if it meant she was being silenced. And like many progressives, I have questions and doubts about how Barack Obama is starting out. I worry about some of those cabinet appointments and so much inclusion of all sides as to risk diluting important decisions. I worry about hesitancy on Gaza and possible support to any and all Israeli policies. I don't want trillions handed over to banks, which have no history as effective social helping agencies. And then there's investigation and possible prosecution of Bush and his people. See Krugman this morning on that! [link] I understand not wanting it to be partisan, but if President Obama is going to be another one of these politicians who only talks about "moving forward" all the time I'm going to be sick.

But this is a time of inaugural celebration and let's get back to it. I am of a very fortunate generation in this country who has started out in segregation, nationality as well as race, and moved myself and been moved into the wonders of a multicultural world. My mother raised me to "play with our own kind" and she reacted physically to memories of bathing black men off the streets of the Lower East Side during her nursing training at Bellevue Hospital. This was a farm girl from Appalachia...but I didn't excuse her and went my own way. For one thing, we were being taught differently in school. After World War II the curriculum, at least in New York State, changed. We began to get a smattering of black history. We read Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver in grade school and junior high. Folk music entered our music training, and we got black melody and rhythm...stilted but there. Jackie Robinson was our hero on the Brooklyn Dodgers...though I didn't abandon Stan Musial or the Cards.  More >

 Pray For George Bush38 comments
picture4 Jan 2009 @ 11:04
One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

---Andre Gide

The philosopher asks himself, "What is your aim in philosophy?" and he answers, "To show the fly the way out of the bottle." And where is he when he has made his escape? He is, it appears, exactly where he started; for philosophy "leaves everything as it is."

---Ludwig Wittgenstein

With no bird singing, the mountain is yet more still.

---Zen saying

I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job.

---Statement made George Bush during campaign visit to Amish community, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Jul. 9, 2004

Some people don't pray of course. When called upon to do so one may screw up one's face into a frown of feigned concentration and just sit there until it's over. One may "pray" the wait's not too long.

Others have ritual words to say to fill the silence. When in doubt there's always the "Lord's Prayer" or a mantra, some chant or holy script. You can try meditation, which many distinguish from "talking to God" as listening to God. One can sit on one's chair, one's pillow, a mat...and train yourself to wait patiently through the silence. Maybe God will say something.

The silence is tough. Everyone says the brain chatters away anyway, whether it's prayer or meditation. Mostly it's Let's stop doing this and get on to something fun. If the mind can be quieted, then there's the leg problem or the ache in the knees. Maybe a mosquito whines in your ear and disrupts the Enlightenment.

So even if you can forgive George Bush or the American people, in the event you somehow believe we elected him---twice---the invitation to pray for him may not fit into your schedule. He has a "legacy project" going on now, possibly to spin a few pictures into the minds of columnists and historians who are attempting to collect ALL of the events of the past 8 years into some coherent narrative.

I thought it would be impossible. It's like coming home to an apartment that's been burglarized. Did that ever happen to you? The worst part of it is the sense of invasion and helplessness...because what cop really is going to doing anything about it? To really scare you into paralysis may be part of the strategy. Otherwise the mess everywhere could be from the furtive hurry a thief always must be in. The place is so ransacked it may take hours even to find out what's missing. Did you write down all those appliance serial numbers? Or maybe your house is just empty: they took everything.

I thought no one could sum up what's happened to my country. The review's too complex. They've put us through too much. Their carelessness has been thorough. I remember everything but I don't want to retrieve it, don't want to think about it. But slowly our major writers, right and left, are coming up with our summaries. The righties are saying it hasn't been that bad and maybe Obama will do OK. (Oh jeez, pray for Obama!) Lefties are pouring it on. Vengeance is sweet and they feel the proof of the Bush pudding is everywhere.

Yet no one is going to jail. Indictments are not on the table. Bush hasn't confessed yet...or even tried to put into words what he thinks the plunge in popularity might be about. The one thing the man is skilled at is denial. If he's going to pardon himself, doesn't he first have to admit to something? Cheney did...and he awaits that presidential pardon before leaving for Dubai. The rest of the neocon men and women are lined up for their pardons too. I hate this presidential pardon business. Why do we allow it?

OK, back to my prayers. We must forgive and all work together, and start to pick up the mess. Some stuff is broken and we'll have to get new. The inventories must be done, as surely as the new president and his family will begin unpacking some things today. The girls start in a new school tomorrow. We'll be spiritual today. Have a cup of coffee, read the Sunday paper, and then say a prayer. Or meditate. What's this? A new review is in, and it's Frank Rich.  More >

 Important Notice Of Change In Terms22 comments
picture1 Dec 2008 @ 11:01
In mountain light, all sounds
return to silence.
All that remains, the temple
bell.

---Ch'ang Chien

Unexpectedly you find it, welling upwards in the empty tree.

---Rainer Maria Rilke

The meadows were a-drinking at their leisure; the frogs sat meditating, all Sabbath thoughts, summing up their week, with one eye out on the golden sun, and one toe upon a reed, eyeing the wondrous universe in which they act their part; the fishes swam more staid and soberly, as maidens go to church,

---Henry David Thoreau

The Eye of the Artist, c. 1898
Victor Dubreuil, born in New York to French emigre parents
The administration of President Grant, who's on the 5 dollar bill along with the mysterious pyramid we stuck on our money, is remembered for its financial corruption.

There is only one rule of economics for me, and that is I pay my bills on time. I prefer to pay for anything at the moment I buy it, but that isn't always possible so I get bills. My wife and I argue about some things, but we seem to agree about politics and money. We don't borrow. There's a car payment and we have a second mortgage for environmental improvements to the house---which already are saving us money on energy costs. Ilona probably is going to college shortly, so we may need someone to make us a loan then. Otherwise we have lived within our means for 27 years---despite rocky times.

I've been broke and down and out in my day. I've had everything I own in my car, with nowhere to go. I've sat on a curb in New York City, without a job, and wept. I've been grateful for government programs. I support them gladly through taxes, now that I have some money. I celebrate economic simplicity in my life, which principles I probably learned through some hardship and a sound upbringing. I learned only the basics of how a capitalist market is supposed to work in theory, in the single required course on the matter in college. Quite frankly, I haven't been able to see that the market---take gasoline for instance---actually works that way. But then maybe, for the last 10 years, the market hasn't really been working at all.  More >



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This is my News Log, actually the second manifestation of jazzoLOG. I moved the first edition to another site, where those articles still are archived and available for continued comment if you wish. [link]


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  • Important Notice Of Change In Terms

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  • The Day John Kennedy Was Shot

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  • Now, About Bill Ayers...

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