Boats against the current.

The New York Times now runs ads on its front page and, occasionally, a different sort of report on what journalism is becoming. Yesterday there was a pretty good piece on “hyperlocal” websites, and since that’s what I’m trying to do, of course I read it avidly.

And I see my/our problem: We’re too tied to actual human beings. You know — storytellers.

It seems, if you want to attract the big journalism-foundation grants and venture-capital bucks, you have to figure out a way to do it without people. The ultimate hyperlocal site, I gather, is something like, which:

…publishes no original content. The company gathers articles and blog posts and scans them for geographical cues like the name of a restaurant or indicative words like “at” or “near.” An iPhone application lets users read articles about events within a thousand of feet of where they are standing., which is based in Brooklyn, licenses feeds of links to big news sites that want to deepen their local coverage, like that of NBC’s Chicago affiliate.

Venture capital firms have invested $7.5 million in the company, partly on the bet that it can cut deals with newspapers to have their sales forces sell neighborhood-focused ads for print and the Web.

Indeed, when I go to it uses its IP-sniffers to point me to “Recent Stories and Discussions in Grosse Pointe Farms.” There’s a single link, to a two-week-old story from Crain’s Detroit Business about an earnings report from a Farms-based company. No discussions (or “Discussions” — I know I’m screwed when the thing that bugs me most about this outfit is that it Doesn’t Know What Should Be Capitalized). Seven-point-five million. I’m astonished. Do you know what my two partners and I could do with $7.5 million?

More promising is EveryBlock, started by some guy who got a big grant from the Knight Foundation. It’s deeper, but again — it relies on the fact someone else is out there doing the shoe-leather work, to which it links. To be sure, it does some interesting stuff with data feeds, public documents and clickable-nine-ways-to-Sunday zip-code-based information, but what is missing? A heartbeat. Fingerprints. The hot, stinky breath of a human being who looked at those crime reports and tried to see a pattern or — what’s the word I’m looking for? — oh, right:

A story.

Most promising of all is Patch, which still believes in human beings. It has editors and reporters, runs the sort of pictures newspapers don’t run anymore (and let me just add: for good reason). It Twitters, it has mojo (mobile journalists), it has bells and whistles galore. Patch is the closest to what we’re doing, with one key difference: It has money. Seven software engineers?! My head is spinning. Also vice presidents, directors of, and the inevitable Jeff Jarvis, who I’m going to bet is not working free of charge.

We have: We three, plus some volunteers, many of them bought-out and otherwise idled Detroit newspaper journalists. We have: No money other than our own, although we’re finalists for a grant in the low five figures. I’m interested in harnessing the power of the bell and the whistle, but I remain, at the center of it all, stubbornly old school. Bells and whistles are only tools. Story is the key. I believe in stories. I’m so old I smell of Dentu-Creme, but I believe in stories.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to update the public-safety map. I’m groping toward a voice for this little corner of the site. Maybe the Arcata Eye’s, crossed with my own. Need to brush up on my limerick-writing skills.

By the way, while I was in one of the Pointe police departments yesterday, gleaning what I could from the reports, the conference-room TV was tuned to Fox News. They ran a breathless promo for the tea-party protest coverage, which I gather has been set for this weekend. Tea partiers are upset over taxation, they say. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t most of these people, theoretically under $250K annual income themselves, getting a tax cut under the new regime? I’m confused.

And I see Minnesota now has its second senator. Can it be over now? Doubtful.

Happy Tax Day eve to you. Get filing.

Posted at 8:24 am in Current events, Media |

49 responses to “Boats against the current.”

  1. judybusy said on April 14, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Sadly, Norm Coleman will likely appeal. It is very frustrating for this MN resident!

    And about the anti-taxers: it seems to me they protest the most when Democrats do the raising of taxes (which seems they actually haven’t done in a good long while….hmmmm) and when the money is spent for things other than death and violence. How many of them have uttered a peep about the horrendous cost of the Iraq war? But suggest we spend money for healthcare, and all of a sudden we haven’t a dime to spare!

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  2. mark said on April 14, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Yes, those making under 250K should be happy as a fox in the henhouse. There is plenty of money for everything once the nasty rich people pay their fair share, which must be something more than the 70% of all federal income tax receipts already collected from the top 10% of earners. All that blood-letting is for my benefit, and that of everyone else not pulling down the big bucks, so I should cheer it and anxiously await all the goodies the new regime will throw my way.

    And since most of us contribute nothing of consequence, it’s really none of our business what government does with the money it collects from those obscenely wealthy folks. If hundreds of billions of dollars are funelled through AIG to parts undisclosed, that’s the business of my betters. They don’t have to answer to me.

    The new dictator is a benevolent Aristotlean, not a crazed Nero like the last guy. Once I know that, I don’t need to know anything more.

    I hope the government spends trillions more, now, on me, because only future rich people will repay those loans. I’ll turn off my brain and quit worrying about my country in exchange for a bag of goodies paid for by somebody else.

    And if the bag of goodies is big enough, and the class warfare fought with sufficient vigor, I won’t notice those little inducements that will, I’m sure, just make my life better and better. Like cigarette and tobacco taxes, which I’m sure must be just gouging the hell out of the rich. And alcohol taxes. And taxes on utilities and gasoline. And cell phones and cable TV. And user fees, parking meter increases, court costs, sales taxes, hospitality and food and beverage taxes, estate taxes, taxes on dividends, taxes on capital gains and taxes on doctor bills. And wheel taxes, licensing fees, airport surcharges, entertainment taxes, state and local income taxes, property taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes, excise taxes, tolls, special assessments and levies.

    No, how government spends it’s money is none of my business. It’s all for my own good and paid for by somebody else.

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  3. coozledad said on April 14, 2009 at 9:49 am

    The rich are rich because the poor don’t make shit making the rich richer. And the racist demagogues are on the TV and the radio encouraging the poor to take one up the ass for Paris Hilton.
    What’s all this shit about conflating talent with wealth? I’ve never seen a talented rich kid, personally. I’ve seen them use their resources to put themselves in the mix, but the lack of human experience mostly renders them helpless morons.
    Or to quote a popular Republican fuckstick slogan, Freedom isn’t free. You don’t do the fighting and dying, you don’t grow the food, you don’t clean the floors, you don’t build stuff. You only make sure your loathsome asses scarf up the money, then crank out a bunch of asswipe kids to scarf up even more. And it’s not even real money. The only thing backing the currency from Reagan on has been the swaggering greasy rubes who converted the treasury into a steaming pile of neotrash pseudoGeorgian edifices and Hummers. History says you motherfucking sucked balls, and you’re underlining it with the whole teabagging thing. Way to go, douchebags.

    Show me this motherfucking talent I keep hearing about ad nauseum.

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  4. MichaelG said on April 14, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox had a giggle fest last night about the teabaggers.

    Arcata is a great town along with its neighbor, Eureka. It’s on the coast about 80 miles south of the Oregon border. It combines fishing, tourism, logging, cattle ranching and illegal stuff growing with a nice little U (Humboldt State) and a ton of old unreconstructed hippies. I’ve done a couple of jobs in the area. One was at the CHP field office in Arcata. Very nice people. I was again struck by the observation that CHP officers are a cut above other cops in every way. Anyhow, Arcata has an airport with several flights per day to SF and Sacto, beautiful mountains, the ocean, excellent restaurants, nice bars and a mild, if damp, climate. The drive to get there is spectacular, whether up 101 through the redwoods or over 299 through the mountains. The Arcata Eye fits. Worth a trip.

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  5. del said on April 14, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Here’s Krugman’s take on the Tea Party issue from the NYT today:

    These parties — antitaxation demonstrations that are supposed to evoke the memory of the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution — have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so.

    But everything that critics mock about these parties has long been standard practice within the Republican Party.

    Thus, President Obama is being called a “socialist” who seeks to destroy capitalism. Why? Because he wants to raise the tax rate on the highest-income Americans back to, um, about 10 percentage points less than it was for most of the Reagan administration. Bizarre.

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  6. whitebeard said on April 14, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Quick, aomeone, anyone, please. Find Mark’s meds and Coozledad and I will shove them down his throat. Get over it, Repugs, your team lost and the tea party movement against taxes is too late to save your blood-sucking, money-grabbing, coupon-clipping hides.
    There, my rant is over; now I can go read about another infected boil from the septic Bush era being lanced.
    And, Del, great clip from Paul Krugman about trying to restore fair taxation for the fat cats.

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  7. moe99 said on April 14, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Sorry to hear about the death of Mark Fidrych. I always enjoyed him.

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  8. Carolyn said on April 14, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Nancy – Your gut is right in every way with what you’re going for on your local site.

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  9. Joe Kobiela said on April 14, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I’ve never seen a talented rich kid? Define rich. $100,000? 50,000, might be rich to some. 1,000,0000 rich to some not to others.
    How about the guy in Fla yesterday who landed a King air-200 after the pilot died? He must have been rich, due to the fact he was flying in a corp airplane, and we all know only the rich can fly in corp airplanes. Guess he was talented.
    Bill Gates is rich, he’s talented, What about Phil Simms kid, he was rich, he has talent. Joe Montanna’s kids are rich they have talent. How about Mike
    Jordan’s boy?
    Anyone want to join in. Name some talented rich kids.
    I bet we can do it with out dropping the F-bomb too.
    Pilot Joe

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  10. del said on April 14, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I’m sorry that you feel so aggrieved Mark. Consider looking at things differently though. Instead of describing those who make the most as the top 10% of “earners,” question whether getting is the same as earning. Remember when A-Rod inked a multi-year Yankee contract with a value exceeding North Korea’s annual GNP? His talent is very rare as hitting 100 mph fastballs and cutters is difficult but does A-Rod truly earn that money? Hell no.

    What’s more, he cheats.

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  11. LA Mary said on April 14, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Reading the Arcata Eye has made me feel good about my son choosing to not attend Humboldt State. I certainly understand Arcata’s charms. Been there, done that, came out ok anyway. The son is talking about transferring to UC Davis next year to study wine grape growing.

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  12. mark said on April 14, 2009 at 11:12 am


    I’m far less concerned with the rate for the rich than I am with the absurd spending, the fanning of the class-warfare flames, the ridiculous complexity of our tax code, and the reality that we crush our working poor with exorbitant taxes and fees directed at their lives, while encouraging them to get rich playing the lottery.

    Do you realize that last week Obama, with no prior notice, discussion or congressional input, pledged $140 billion in new US support for the IMF? How many days of congressional hearings and how much public angst did it require to commit one-tenth that amount for the US auto companies?

    The public resentment/concern is about much more than raising the top federal tax rate.

    In my moderate sized town, there are federal grants galore to subsidize the construction of yet more middle class housing to feed the current glut, while sewer rates are tripling to pay for new sewers to keep the sewage out of the rivers. Wealthy builders paid by government to construct what we don’t need and low-income citizens disproportionately paying for what we have to have.

    And I agree about A-Rod, but that market will eventually correct, unless we decide we have to suibsidize it to avoid systemic collapse.

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  13. jcburns said on April 14, 2009 at 11:12 am

    That’s exactly the right distinction. Did Bill Gates earn his wealth? Not so much. (Although I have no problems with how he’s attempting to distribute some of it now charitably once he has it.)
    And if I were fortunate enough to take home more than $250K, I think I’d find the tax rate quite fair and undictatorial.

    Rich kids, you want a definition? Easy. Parents take home more than $250K. Maybe I’d bump it to $400K. They are the children of the rich. They are afforded privilege that kids of the $100K families aren’t.

    They could still lead comfortable lives if $100K was chopped from their families’ annual earnings…in part because when you have that amount of pad, you can pay for and pay off stuff that’ll still be around when you have less working capital.

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  14. MichaelG said on April 14, 2009 at 11:42 am

    UC Davis is an excellent school. The People’s Republic of Davis is a very nice town. It’s a college and agro town. Again, good food, good bars, good theater and concert town, not as colorful as Arcata and it’s a hot, dry place. Lotsa libruls. It’s also known as one of the most bicycle friendly towns in the U.S. Easy freeway access to the Bay Area and Sacramento and to I-5 and thence L. A. It’s only a few miles from Sacto airport with a dozen or so daily flights to Burbank. Probably fewer now with the slow down, but still. Your son could do a whole lot worse than Davis, Mary, and if he’s interested in oenology or viticulture, Davis is the best there is.

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  15. Sue said on April 14, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Mark, what do you mean by “federal grants galore”? My municipality goes after grants, and gets only a few. No stimulus money for us, although we applied for it, along with everyone else. What grants are available for “middle class housing”? Our municipality negotiates with individual developers to sell a certain number of house/lot packages intended to be more affordable, and if they want to build, even in these times, they had better be willing to negotiate; we are not interested in “take the money and run” developers. Our HUD Housing Authority concentrates on housing for extreme low income individuals, and works with landlords who usually take a cut or go through hoops to qualify. Where do you live that wealthy builders have that much power, New London? And where is your taxpayers’ association, running candidates to fight the local fee increases?
    Mark, you’re one of my “other side” favorites. You’re not on your game today. What’s up?

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  16. LA Mary said on April 14, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I’m ok with Davis. He checked it out at Christmas time while visiting his girlfriend’s grandparents and was very stoked up about it. Bike friendly, agro and good food all sound like my son’s sort of place. I think the girlfriend is transferring there as well, which is at this point more important than the food and the bikes.

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  17. coozledad said on April 14, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I’ve heard the same bitching from guys whose businesses were built on the backs of state institutions. State funded research, student staffed laboratories, and some geek walks away with a patent and a billion dollar business. And taxes are breaking his back. Spare me.
    Oh. And lest I forget, Fuck them.
    And what’s with the Bowdlerization? I’m certain Shakespeare said fuck when “crawling between the sumptuous sheets” or something, wasn’t terse enough. I’ve also been led to understand it’s one of the two most popular final words in the English language.
    I spoke with a woman who had a parrot whose sole expression was Fuck. Until it learned “Fuck it”.

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  18. del said on April 14, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Mark, I don’t like the term “class warfare.” The words war/warfare are overused hyperbole offered by polemicists; they should be reserved to mean, war and warfare, alone.

    That said, I too would prefer more clarity in the tax code. I just read in today’s Detroit News that tax law was “unclear” about whether folks seeking to reclaim their 2008 IRA contributions could do so without penalty if they’d filed their returns already. To me complexity in the Code is exploited by those who can do so (and we all know who they are).

    I’m surprised to hear that the feds are subsidizing sprawl, that was always the province of private concerns, I thought. It’s a huge waste of resources to keep expanding our metropolitan infrastructures ever outward while letting older areas decay. Here in Detroit those who’ve fled to the suburbs are prone to declare about Detroit’s core, “let them take care of themselves.” In other words, I’ve got mine, now you get yours. I may have recommended it here before but a book I highly recommend is entitled: “Suburban Nation — The rise of sprawl and the decline of the American dream.” One of the 3 authors, I think was Andres Duany? Part of a movement called New Urbanism.

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  19. Sue said on April 14, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    I didn’t say the F-word until I was in my forties. It’s a rude word but it keeps popping out now. My main objection at this point is that it’s a verb, not an adjective. I wish people would keep that in mind and use it correctly; grammar is important, you know.
    And a friend of mine had a cat she named “Fucker”. Very funny, until it got lost one night and she spent a couple of hours wandering around her apartment complex, crying and calling him. She did find him eventually and he was called Frank after that.

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  20. coozledad said on April 14, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Sue; I’ll bet a woman wandering around crying and calling “Fucker” made for a few nervous men in the apartment complex.

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  21. del said on April 14, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    That was rich Cooz. Ashley Morris’s favorite was also rich — fuckmook. Classic.

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  22. LA Mary said on April 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    I know of at least three cats in England named Cooking Fat. They are fond of their Spoonerisms in the UK.

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  23. Nancy P. said on April 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Have you read Scott Adams’ blog “How I Saved Newspapers”?

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  24. brian stouder said on April 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I like the Public Safety Map; very cool!

    In my dotage, I have taken to listening to Fort Wayne police and fire on in the internet in the evenings, as I play hearts or read nn.c, and it is amazing. Despite that Fort Wayne ain’t that big, all sorts of bad things happen, every single night. The signal for Domestic Disturbance (42, I think) is a biggy, and God knows what that means from one time to the next.

    Just before Easter, I heard a pursuit – it was down US-24, and the policeman radioed that the driver blew through the redlight at Engle Road (people have been killed there on many occasions), and then veered onto Aboite Center Road, where speeds had exceeded 80 mph….when a matter-of-fact barritone voice said “Terminate the pursuit”; the guy got away. (They had his plate number, so presumeably he’ll get his day in the dock)

    By way of saying, if there’s a police pursuit in your neck of the woods, that should get a blue line on the Public Safety Map!

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  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 14, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Scott Adams – it ain’t gonna work, and my proof is the Cub Pack website/blog. Everyone “wants” the info in a handy, central site, and wants to see pictures (mainly of their kids, and maybe their kids’ friends), and everyone says they’ll forward you info, help with updates, and email you photos they took at events.

    They don’t.

    Then they ask at pack meetings “there hasn’t been anything new added to the website this week! What’s up?” Same deal for neighborhood association, volunteer group at local historic landmark, congregation — everyone wants content, and there’s info out there people want, but the ability to manage info, assemble data, and package it into useable form (let alone appealing formats) is a non-universal quality. Don’t know how you get people to put it together without a certain critical mass of paid craftspeople at work. How to get payment out of people for that i don’t know, but the net capacity of volunteers to create and produce even super-local news is super-limited.

    We have e-newsletters coming out of the schools, and it’s a fifth business for the staffer doing it, and you can tell which principals have the touch and which don’t — bless ’em, most don’t. Village press releases read like . . . municipal employee produced press releases.

    Anyhow, i’m baffled as to how super-local is going to be this self-generating deal. Yes, Scott, everyone wants it, but the hard fact is a) not everyone can produce usable content, or even readable, comprehensible content, and b) most people talk about it, but never actually get around to even trying. It’s like all the people who want to write a column in the worst way, beg for years at editor’s desks, and then get the chance . . . and quit after about three months. Because the next week is staring at you, and . . .

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  26. JPK said on April 14, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Anyone want to join in. Name some talented rich kids.
    I bet we can do it with out dropping the F-bomb too.

    Ted Kennedy.

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  27. Scout said on April 14, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Mark, sorry to sound simplistic, but maybe now you can understand how people like me felt for the past 8 years, having our taxes finance: an immoral and illegal war, tax cuts for people who didn’t honestly need the money and no-bid contracts to vermin like Halliburton and KBR. To name a but a few. Class warfare rants from people who never said boo about anything Bush spent money on do not move me. And Fox Noise fake populist teabagging parties are just a joke. In more ways than they intended. Idiots.

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  28. nancy said on April 14, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    And I’m sorry, but why is class warfare wrong when it’s directed against the rich but just fine when it’s aimed at filthy hippies and eastern elitists and Woody Allen, who as we all recall from the teachings of Speaker Gingrich, represents the values of the Democratic party? Who talked about how good it was to be back in the “real” America? Just wondering.

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  29. alex said on April 14, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Regarding the item upthread about the f-bomb as an adjective, the first time I ever heard anyone use it as every other word was when I was still rather young. I was in the Zoli’s on Broadway in Fort Wayne and a kittenish old floozy in a teased blonde beehive who was innebriated and in a foul mood let loose with the longest string of f-bombs I’d ever heard.

    Today I hear people in public letting loose in this fashion all the time, particularly the younger generation, and the tone is casual, not raging drunk. Perhaps one day within our lifetimes the f-bomb will cease to have any shock value whatsoever and some other word will take its place.

    Any nominations for the next biggest dirty adjective?

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  30. Scout said on April 14, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Alex – Palin? As in, “Give me a Palin break.”

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  31. coozledad said on April 14, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Alex: Apparently it’s in common usage among primary school kids in Ireland, and come to think of it, once when my wife and I were shuffling between bars on the upper east side of Manhattan, we saw a prim little nine year old girl on a Catholic school outing refer to a boy in glasses as “you fuckin’ frogeye”.
    I don’t know about adjectives, but I thought England’s “Bastard Fuckpig” from the eighties had a nice ring to it.

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  32. basset said on April 14, 2009 at 8:08 pm


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  33. Catherine said on April 14, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    My favorite Irish swear word, learned from Roddy Doyle: Shite. It’s mainly a noun, though.

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  34. coozledad said on April 14, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    A usage that’s seldom got right
    Is when to say shit and when shite;
    And many a chap
    Will fall back on crap,
    Which is vulgar, evasive and trite.
    -Robert Conquest

    The BBC has also recently approved the use of gobshite and bogshite for Ulster television.The example they gave for bogshite is my favorite. It roughly translates to redneck.
    “Look. I’m as Irish as anyone, but I’m not some bogshite from Cork.”

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  35. Deborah said on April 14, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    When I’m feeling particularly moody, my husband says “Buck up fucknose”. It cracks me up every time. Which of course is why he says it.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 14, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Ah, the Daily Show (11:07 pm) has the animation issue on the Somali pirates situation flawlessly covered. Theirs looks much better than the NBC animation, no disputing it.

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  37. Catherine said on April 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Wow. Poetry that rhymes shite *and* crap. I’m definitely going to have to use some of my (limited) brain cells on memorizing that one.

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  38. moe99 said on April 15, 2009 at 1:12 am

    C’dad: I’m stealing that poetry to share with others. That was damn good. Just got back from a session meeting and the report back from our Presbytery meeting last month about the vote on the measure to open up ordination to GLBT folks was just very bad, so I am in a foul mood. I take consolation in knowing that by the time the current 20 somethings have taken over, it’s not going to matter, because they don’t care about such a stupid thing.

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  39. basset said on April 15, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Yeah, and back in the 70s pot was gonna be legal once we became lawyers and judges.

    >>Village press releases read like . . . municipal employee produced press releases.

    Some of ’em are indeed pretty awful… I’m a municipal employee and I write press releases, I can say that. You’re right, though, about lack of volunteer commitment… if it’s everybody’s job, it’s nobody’s job and it doesn’t get done.

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  40. Cosmo Panzini said on April 15, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Fox News on the TV in the police station? What a surprise. Just for fun, when the opportunity arises and cops are around, I like to refer to Faux News as The Bullshit Factory.

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  41. mark said on April 15, 2009 at 8:49 am

    ….Woody Allen….?

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  42. nancy said on April 15, 2009 at 8:52 am

    You were probably in law school or maybe a high chair, Mark — it was a while ago (1992). Background.

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  43. mark said on April 15, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Well that’s the kind of service that earns you a loyal following.

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  44. brian stouder said on April 15, 2009 at 9:05 am

    And it’s worth noting that if the bullshit factories work long and diligently enough spewing their ‘product’ across cable tv and mid-day radio, eventually some small number of their bullshit-covered shit-for-brains consumers will ‘blossom’ into something else.

    The Pittsburg shooter looks a lot like a bullshit factory turd blossom

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 15, 2009 at 9:53 am

    So, I’m crying, i’m angry, i’m praying. And if you read this, you’ll do all three, too, and you don’t even know Tiffany (probably). In all honesty, i’m cursing, too.

    That’s the context of my day job. Tiffany’s a win, Trevor’s a lose, and our batting average is about .700, as you can read in the article. Which isn’t good enough, d*** it. I’m almost sorry i can’t freely throw the f-bomb around like many of you, because i’m in the right mood for it after reading this article just after doing a “Trevor” mediation at 7:30 this am.

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  46. mark said on April 15, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for the link, Jeff.

    I’ll let my conservative and other bias run loose and get straight to the point. I don’t buy the “Tiffany’s afraid to leave the small town, it’s all she knows” stuff. Tiffany is looking for love and approval from a deadbeat young man who has no interest in her potential or her success.

    There are a hundred good universities that would pay to have a talent and a success like Tiffany on their campus. But Trevor the unemployed drop-out is conducting this performance.

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  47. Dorothy said on April 15, 2009 at 10:49 am

    BRIAN!!! Gasp – no “h” on that Pittsburg?!?! For shame!

    We were in Pittsburgh over Easter weekend and we were astonished to see this on the news: Poplawski’s grandmother (he’s the scumbag who killed three police officers) chained herself to the front steps at the house where the shootings took place. She said she needed to get medical records, medicines, private papers from inside and the police would not let her go in. It’s an active crime scene so of course she couldn’t enter. She sat there wrapped up in blankets, with her cat, in the rain, chain smoking and weeping. The neighbors were extremely pissed at her, so they formed counter demonstrations right in front of the house to draw attention away from her sorry ass. It was an embarrassment. Like the police in Zone 5 really needed to be dealing with that crap. Seeing the way the grandmother acted and spoke told us volumes about the asshole who shot those fine young men.

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  48. brian stouder said on April 15, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Sorry about the H, Dorothy!

    Looking back at it, it looks wrong enough that it SHOULD have prompted me to check it – but I have no excuse

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  49. ejohnson said on April 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Ah hyperlocal journalism. Checking out those Reader’s Digest-style sites and hearing about their big grants makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong. Oh yeah, I’m actually coming up with my own stories, albeit with a different spin than I was allowed as a newspaper reporter. Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune’s TribLocal, a glorified bulletin board for local press releases, cruises my site daily for ideas. And sells ads.

    I’ll be avidly following your site, Nancy, to see how it evolves.

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