Category Archives: blogging

Memphis Police Director Going After MPD Enforcer 2.0 Blog

The blog MPD Enforcer 2.0 is often critical of police management in Memphis. The police are not happy with this and are going after them with a lawsuit. At this point they want AOL to name names.

The lawsuit is also seeking e-mail addresses and phone numbers associated with MPD Enforcer 2.0.

Police manager Larry Godwin and the city are the ones behind the lawsuit. The bloggers use the name of a porn star from the movie “Boogie Nights,” Dirk Diggler to make posts. The blog also encourages others with similar views to e-mail them. There has also been an online petition calling for Godwin’s resignation.

Why all the fuss? The blog is critical of Godwin’s job performance. Because the lawsuit is sealed details are not allowed to be on public record.

As Amos Maki of CommercialAppeal.com notes, “[it isn’t] clear if the lawsuit is aimed at shutting down the site or if it’s part of an effort to stop leaks that might affect investigations.”

The operators of the blog have retained the services of Paul Alan Levy to represent them in the case. Levy is a well known First Amendment lawyer.

The Blog does seem to have inside information about the department. One of the posts quoted Godwin about moving officers who make repeated complaints.

“We’re looking for a pattern,” Godwin said. “Sometimes drug dealers and others will keep filing complaints just to try to cause an officer trouble. We investigate those claims and watch the officer to see if there is a problem and if early intervention might solve it.”

If Godwin wins what will that precedent do for other bloggers who are tired of red tape or bad management at their jobs? Does that mean bloggers will not be allowed to speak or fear a lawsuit?

I am sure there will be much more to come as this lawsuit steps forward.


Olive Riley, The Oldest Blogger Dies At 108

Olive Riley has died at the age of 108. Living in a nursing home in New South Wales she had the title of the world’s oldest blogger.

The woman who was born in 1899 was the focus of a documentary about her life in 2004.

Since last year Ms. Riley posted about 70 entries on her life experiences. She received feedback from around the world.

Her blog The Life of Riley appears to be down at the moment. In it were memories of both World Wars and the Great Depression. She wrote about rearing her three children and the odd assortment of jobs she had along the way.


James Karl Buck Twitters Message ‘Mohammed is free, Mohammed is free’

When an American blogger in Egypt sent out a one-word message on Twitter as he was being jailed, it helped to free him. But the translator that accompanied him remained behind bars. Now that man was freed as well.

James Karl Buck sent out the news with a one-word Twitter message on Tuesday.

“Free.”

For almost three months Buck and others have been working to free his translator Mohammed Maree.

Buck had just started using Twitter back in April when the social networking program helped free him when arrested while photographing an anti-government protests over low wages and rising food prices. Maree was arrested along side Buck. With the help of signatures and thousands of activists Maree is now a free man.

An article on CNN said that Buck apologized to the translator as soon as he was freed.

“He was totally in good spirits; he joked with me,” Buck said. “I told him he was a hero, and that because of his case and what he suffered, he’s brought a lot of attention to the government’s behavior in Egypt.”

Buck is a grad student from the University of California, Berkeley working on photography project for his master’s thesis. He met Maree in Mahalla and hired him to act as his translator. Maree is a 23-year-old Egyptian going to veterinary school.

Buck wants the world to know that Maree is a hero.

“I think he’s a hero. Some people might think it sounds silly,” Buck said. “But he went to jail for his beliefs. Instead of selling out or making something up, he really was willing to stand up to the intimidation. It’s people like him that make cracks in a dark wall to let light come in.”


Embedded Blogger Claims He Was Canned For Showing Dead Marines

Bloggers that are embedded within the military of the United States have to deal with censorship. If they fail to paint all with rose colored glasses they can be told to cease their blog. That is what happened to Zoriah Miller from his side of the story.

Miller is a photojournalist and blogger who was embedded with a Marine unit. Miller was there on June 26 when a suicide bomber attacked a meeting of tribal sheiks in Iraq’s Anbar province and killed 20 people. Three of the dead were U.S. Marines.

Miller takes pictures for a living. Those pictures were included in his account of the incident, including one that was of a fallen soldier. That lone picture is the root of him being “disembedded” from the Marine unit he was with.

The military ordered Miller to be placed on the next plane to Baghdad. A dust storm scrubbed that plan so a security guard was assigned to keep him in place.

“Tuesday [Jul. 1] I awoke to a call in their combat operations centre, and the person on the phone told me they were a PAO (Public Affairs Officer) at Camp Fallujah, and he wanted me to take my blog down right away,” Miller told IPS. “I asked them why, and was told then called back after five minutes by a higher ranking PAO who claimed I had broken my contract by showing photos of dead Americans with U.S. uniforms and boots.”

Miller said the PAO claimed he was not allowed, by the embed contract, to show dead or wounded U.S. citizens or soldiers in the field. “I never signed any contract for that,” Miller said.

Miller thought because the soldier was unidentifiable he was within the rules and regulations set forth by the United States military on what journalists are allowed to post. He even waited four days until after the widely covered incident took place to post the photo.

The military seeing that it had a weak case back stepped on the reasons of Miller’s dismissal. The new reason is that he detailed information on the effectiveness of the attack putting all military members in greater risk for harm.

“The bottom line is that the thing they cited as the reason for my dismissal was ‘information the enemy could use against you’. They realised, probably from keeping track of my blog, that I was not showing identifiable features of a soldier…and they couldn’t find a reason to kick me out. Because it was a high ranking person who got killed, they were all fired up.”

Miller concluded, “Up to that point they said it was because I showed pictures of bodies with pieces of uniform and boots. The letter, though, doesn’t mention that at all. I checked the document I had about ground rules for media embeds, and I followed them.”

The photojournalist is headed back to the United States. He’s not going with his tail behind his leg however, he’s on a mission.

“You’re a war photographer, but once you take a picture of what war is like then you get into trouble,” he said.

The Pentagon has made no comments on this case.


Bloggers Will be Out in Force at Democratic National Convention

Bloggers will be out in force this year at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. A record number of bloggers will be given credentials to cover the political event this summer.

“We’re excited to provide bloggers with the opportunity to be the eyes and ears of so many at this convention,” Aaron Myers, director of online communications for the Democratic National Convention Committee, said Thursday.

“Today, we are shattering the standard we set just four years ago, when the 2004 Democratic Convention was the first to credential blogs,” he said.

“This year, we will more than triple the number of blogs credentialed to witness history in the making.”


Four years
ago only 30 blogs were allowed access to the convention when it took place in Boston. Since that time blogs have gained public approval, in some cases to the extend that people get their daily news from blogs instead of other media sources.

The DNCC released a list of 124 bloggers who received credentials to cover the convention as members of the media. The Democratic National Convention will be held August 25-28 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

A list of the blogs that will be reporting is here.


Blogger’s True Story About Being Damned To Hell

Have you been bad? I mean really bad, bad enough that perhaps you’ve been told you’re a candidate for Hades? Are the Moral Right on your back? Are your toes getting a bit singed from the brimstone? If so I have a line on a get out of Hell free card.

Randy Cassingham is a blogger. He writes about bizarre news stories over at This Is True. Like everyone who blogs the news one of his stories caused a bit of an uproar with a reader telling him he was going to go to hell. When he replied that his consulting minister didn’t have a problem with said story the reader decided that the minister was hell bound too.

The story was on feng shui by the way. The reader didn’t seem to grasp that feng shui isn’t even a religion and it’s not “anti-Christian” but to each there own.

That’s the middle of this story though. Years ago Cassingham had made up a batch of cards for Cathie Walker of SillyGirl.com when she mentioned an evil scheme she was working on.

I said to her “Ooooh: you’re going straight to hell for that one!” Cathie quickly joked back, “But wait, I have a Get Out of Hell card here in my purse!”

Great ideas come up when you’re just joking around. Next thing you know Cassingham is designing said card and printing a few up for his friend. And that was that, a sweet gesture for a friend to save her soul from the fires of Hell.

Zoom forward to the present. Cassingham remembered those cards he had made years ago. He touched up those long forgotten cards and printed out 2,000 of them. Blogger that he is, Cassingham told his readers the whole story and they went nuts. He offered to send them to readers who had made requests 10 of them for a buck to cover printing and postage.

He had 2,000 cards so Cassingham figured that they would last for months. Boy, was he wrong. They made it for three days. He made up 2,000 more and they lasted for 4 days. He had to keep increasing the print orders until they were at 20,000 a time.

The cards have gone to each and every of the 50 States and all of the Canadian provinces as well. They are so popular there have been orders sent to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Croatia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey.

It’s a nice little side business now.

So go ahead and write an article that gets you damned you can send off for your own ‘Get Out Of Hell Card’ too.