Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No Freedom of Speech at Community College

The short version: Local community college newspaper runs a story about student depression and suicide. The larger story is about the connection between pressures students face and depression. It mentions as an example two students, one specifically named, who committed suicide.

The paper goes to press, issues are printed and distributed on campus. The papers are gone the next day. More papers are distributed. They are removed.

This is where they wound up. The dumpster.

Who placed the issues in the dumpster? Was it the campus police?

Why did administration ask for the story to be removed from the student newspaper web site?

Why am I telling you this?

Because a story has been suppressed. Newspapers destroyed. A writer's voice silenced. Fear vomited on the First Amendment to the Constitution. What good is the name and the reputation of the school if it does not stand up for what is right?

Does it matter it happened on a community college level? Yes, it does. This kind of thing can get to be a habit if not caught in time. Contagious because others may think this is the thing to do when you don't like what is being said about you, your workplace, your city, state and dare I say it, federal government.

So if you are interested you can download and read the article for yourself.

If you know a teen or college person take them for a long walk, have them turn off the cell phone and start talking about the process of making healthy mental choices. Talk about coping skills that don't involve alcohol, really nasty chemicals or burning dead grasses. Listening is good too.

Because, that really was the point of the article.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Conversations - Bev

“We seek not rest but transformation. We are dancing through each other as doorways.” Marge Piercy

This is the Windows Version
This is the QuickTime Version

Every day there is a post, either text or video. She is a mature woman operating in a new medium. Visit her site at http://funnytheblog.blogspot.com

Conversations - Becca

“Knowledge is the prime need of the hour.” Mary McLeod Bethune

This is the Windows Version
This is the QuickTime Version

There is more to Hawaii than “Five-O” and “Book-um Danno, murder one.” Becca's vlog contains the real deal on living in the 50th state. http://beccavlog.blogspot.com

Conversations - Bekka

“One cannot consent to creep when one has an impulse to soar.”
Helen Keller

She came with laughter and unexpected adventures. In this video she talks about how vlogging has changed her world view. Step on over to http://missbhavens.blogspot.com

This is the Windows Version

This is the QuickTime Version

Conversations - Cassie at VloggerCon

"Ritual is the way we carry the presence of the sacred. Ritual is the spark that must not go out." Christina Baldwin

This is the Windows Version

This is the QuickTime Version

Cassie has a text blog but is thinking about making the plunge into vlogging. This is my conversation with Cassie, a new vlogger.

Conversations - Maureen At VloggerCon

“Act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid.” Dorothea Brande

Maureen is generally know as “Richard's wife”, but she is a co-creator/conspirator in her own right.

This is the Windows Version
This is the QuickTime Version

Funny, gracious and many times a prime instigator of what is seen on the screen. This is a quick insight on how “The Richard Show” comes together.

Conversations - Travel-Cast Vlogger

“I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to earth.” Pearl S. Buck

This is the Windows Version

This is the QuickTime Version

I'm sorry I can't give the woman's name. She did tell me and it is audible in the video but I just can't make it out. If you know her let me know her name and I will give a proper shout out.

This woman has a travel-cast and a great response to the question about is there a difference between those that do film and those that vlog. Hint: the secret word is “documentation”.

Conversations - Anne

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” Virginia Woolf

This is the Windows Version

This is the QuickTime Version

Anne has a great personality that lights up a bathroom(check the video for context.) Visit her blog at http://nopractice.blogspot.com

Conversations - Catherine

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.”
Beverly Sills

This is the Windows Version

This is the QuickTime Version

Catherine is just starting out vlogging but I can see that she has a sense of humor and lives in a beautiful part of the country. This is encouraging because we need vloggers from the South and sections of the country that are not heard from in the mainstream media.

Conversations - Jen

"The imperative is to define what is right and do it."
Barbara Jordan

Jen has the courage to listen to her spiritual self. That is evident in her vlog.
Visit Jen's vlog at http://www.ebbandflow.tv/blog

This is the QuickTime Version

This is the Windows Version

VloggerCon Theme

Jan of Sound http://fauxpress.blogspot.com and

and Markus Sandy at http://apperceptions.org and http://spinflow.org

Conversations – Women of VloggerCon

6.5MB Windows Version

4.5MB QuickTime Version
It is funny how things happen for a reason. I was standing in line at the door watching people gather knowing and not knowing each other. I was a little scared. Hell, I was overwhelmed.

I wanted to be there but I didn't know any of these 400+ people except for their work and on-line conversations. I knew I wanted to contribute but I wasn't sure how. Then I heard the voice. Not my internal voice but the voice of inspiration, the Muse of Creativity voice.

The Muse told me I should interview the women folk. I told the Muse “I don't do interviews well; I forget things like lighting and stuff coming out of people's heads and my brain turns to mush and...”

“Not my concern – get on with it, this needs to be done.”, the Muse replied.

“Yeah but, the shooting angle thing and the walking up to folks and remember the other time when that lady got hostile and wanted me thrown out?”

The Muse replied “I wouldn't worry about it. You ain't even in the door yet.” And with that The Muse was gone. I learned long ago not to put up too much of a fight with The Muse of Creativity.

I crossed the door. I went up the steps. And I began a new journey. This is the first video.

The VloggerCon Theme is by Jan of Sound http://fauxpress.blogspot.com or
http://the-hold.blogspot.com and Markus Sandy who can be found at http://apperceptions.org or http://spinflow.org

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Peace Walk In Pasadena

There is a growing generation of people who do not know how to be quiet. They do not know how to be alone with their thoughts or even that it is possible to be internally quiet.

The Peace Walk is an exercise of being in the here and now. It is a physical meditation on how to generate a "field of peace." The more peaceful people on the planet, the less war and conflict. My understanding is that you can't petition for peace if you are at war with yourself.

Click the photo or this link for the 7.7MB QuickTime Video

Click this link for the 8.5MB Windows Movie Video version

I like certain aspects of the Buddhist faith but I am not a follower. I understand about "loving kindness" and being in the moment, but I still have a tendency to want to mentally take a baseball bat to people that annoy me.

I've listen to a few of Pema Chodron lectures via Sounds True. It is good stuff but the concept of mental stillness is a tough one for me. Ah well, it is the journey.

Speaking of which, if you make it to the end of the video there is a destination. It is a sad one that I wish did not have to be. When I experienced it drained me of the peace of being in the moment. It caused me to be sad and angry at such a waste.

If you would like to participate in a Peace Walk or learn more about it visit http://www.yoga-losangeles.com/peaceiseverystep.html
or http://peaceiseverystep.net

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Showing My Face To The World

For the longest time I did not want to have my photo appear on my vlog/blog. I had good reasons. I want to be judged for content, not personality. I really want to do good work that generates from the thought to the word to the deed.

I want to do the kind of video like Anne LaMott does with her writing. Like Deena Metzger and the spirituality of words. I'm too chicken to read Stephen King's fiction but his book on writing - excellent.

I am basically shy unless you ask me a question and then I babble on multiple tangents. I really don't like having my photo taken, not even by me. Yadda, yadda, yah. Reasons will appear when you need them.

That was okay for a while until I attended VloggerCon 2006. I was interviewing women vloggers and we are all different. It is a difference that needs to be celebrated. We need to be visible. I'm editing video right now so we will be more visible.

Another reason is that some people keep saying vlogging is a white male, middle-age elitist activity. They did not attend VloggerCon. As I put my foot and other parts of my anatomy in my mouth during the Digital Diversity session, we need to have white males tell their authentic stories so that everybody gets to know the other. Leave no story behind.

We collectively need to hear non-commercial true stories of everybody. Not the fiction used to sell the shadow. America is in the divided nation fix we find ourselves because we talk but do not listen to the other person's stories.

Yeah, I know. Where is the video?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Poetry On The Gold Line - Steve Petersen

Men sometimes confuse me. I like them. I have loved a few. I have lusted in my heart and other placed in my body for a couple of dozen of them.

At times my understanding men is like banging my head against the wall. It feels good when I stop. Most time I just accept them for who they are. Having said all that I really appreciate the nice ones. And the spirited ones. Hell, I like 98% of them and the other 3% I can do without.

I'm still getting the hang of this interviewing thing. I'm not doing it "right". I end up just doing what comes naturally at the time. I really just want the other person to tell me their story or in this case Steve's poem. The real story is that he is very proud of his children and seems to be a happy man.

The other real story is that you never know if or when you connect to another person. Be open to the possible.

For more information about Steve visit http://www.xosrox.com

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's Rawhide - A Moment with Esau

This video was shot at the South Pasadena Thursday afternoon Farmer's Market and if you get the chance stop by. I was shooting video of the Gold Line poets and checking out the food action at the same time.

This is the Windows Video version

I was about to be seduced by a stick of roasted corn. I was heading for it like a cat about to pounce on a bird. I was walking toward it, knowing full well I can't eat it because it was slathered in butter and hot chili powder but reason was failing me. Pure food lust almost took over.

That is until I heard this guy singing. It was enough to break the spell. I'm saying to myself, “What the hell is that?” Not in a bad way but this man's music was different. I turned and this is what I saw.

Sometimes you have to pave your own road. Be your own booster. Sing you own song. I may not understand the words he is singing but I do know he is not working in a office doing the same thing day in and day out. He is not counting the minutes until quitting time nor is he in rush hour traffic cussing the radio over the distortion of news he heard today.

So if you are in South Pasadena at the Thursday afternoon Farmer's Market after you chomp on some roasted corn with lots of butter and chili powder pop a buck or two in the guitar case. Support your local artist.

FBI, Feds, and Judicial System Pile on Josh Wolf

....this just in from VlogWitness News (er, via the SF Chronicle, this is just an excerpt). No telling if the Feds or FBI are going to start the process over again but I'm real glad he isn't going to be wearing an orange jumper.

Journalist not forced to give up video
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, June 16, 2006

Printable Version
Email This Article
A freelance journalist who faced a possible jail sentence for refusing
to surrender video footage of a July 2005 clash between San Francisco
police and anarchist demonstrators was abruptly released from a
subpoena by federal prosecutors Thursday, his lawyer said.

Josh Wolf, 24, was ordered by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in a
closed-door hearing earlier in the day to turn over the video and
answer questions before a federal grand jury investigating the alleged
vandalism of a police car, said attorney Ben Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld said
Wolf was then questioned before the grand jury, and he insisted that he
had a constitutional right to remain silent and to discuss the
questions with his lawyers, and finally was told by a prosecutor,
without explanation, that he was free to go.

There was no comment from the U.S. attorney's office.
Original Post

This is important, this is urgent. The following post has been copied from the Yahoo Videobloggers Group. One of our own, our kinfolk is about to go to jail because he recorded an event. He is facing contemp of court charges. The feds are bearing down on him and he is not a mainstream media, just a man on purpose and standing by his truth.

You want reality, here it is... this young man is might to go to jail because he is invoking his rights. As a videoblogger, reporter, documentarian he is facing potential jail. Read this, pass it on, visit his site and above all else kick up a fuss because if the come for Josh they will be coming for me week after next and somebody you know a month from now.
Hi, some of you at vloggercon probably saw my presentation/plea for help in publicizing my case involving the federal grand jury who has gone after my footage from a protest that I as a vlog journalist captured in the city of San Francisco on July 8th of 2005.

In February I was subpoenaed by the Federal Grand Jury and commanded to testify and provide my footage from protest that I filmed. This is in an illegal subpoena on several counts including the fact that as a journalist any subpoena needs to be approved by the US Attorney general and it was not. This act by the federal government is an attempt to trump the state protections afforded by journalists such as the California Shield Law which protects me from having to turn over unpublished material in order to preserve the trust relationship between journalists and their subjects.

The Assistant US Attorney has stated that this is a federal matter and thus not protected by the shield law as a San Francisco Police Vehicle was vandalized during the protest that I filmed and as the city receives money from the Federal Government, and some portion of the police car may have been paid for with federal funds, this is,therein, a federal matter. This assertion has huge ramifications for
all journalists both independent and commercial in that it serves to erode all of the protections that journalists have managed to achieve at the state level. After all, to prove that federal money has some indirect role is a rather low barrier to trump these shield laws and the potentialities are absolutely terrifying.

After exhausting my appeals to quash this subpoena, I was served yesterday afternoon with a new order to appear this Thursday. After careful consideration, I have decided that it would go against my journalistic ethics to comply with the demands of the subpoena and will most likely be found in contempt of court for my non-cooperation sometime on Thursday. At that point in time, I will most likely be
taken to jail while we continue to work on the appeals process.

The best tool available to me is that of trying to educate and influence the public opinion about my case, and that's why I am appealing to each of you to cover my situation on your blog or videoblog; the mainstream media does not appear to be all too interested in bringing this issue to light and it is up to us independent voices to help spread the word about my situation.

Beyond that, I think that encouraging people to contact the US Senators in California: Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein. My representative in the House: Nancy Pelosi. State Representative: Mark Leno. The Mayor: Gavin Newsom, the District Attorney Kamela Harris, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors might help to put some
political pressure on this situation and hopefully result in my campaign to protect my journalistic privilege and also lead towards me being released on my own recognizance during my appeal process to the 9th circuit court of appeals.

I am compiling as much information about my case as possible at a website that I have setup at http://joshwolf.net/grandjury/ and the contact info for all of these politicians should be up there at some point by the end of the day.

If you are uncertain how you feel about this issue, or why am I choosing this course of action, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail or through the phone. I appreciate any support that you can provide and even if you don't feel comfortable addressing this issue publicly on your blog, a private e-mail would do much to help
my well-being. Please do mention whether I can use your e-mail in the court as an example of public support for this issue.

Thanks for anything you are able to do, it really does mean a lot to me. This past weekend felt like a family reunion for a family I never knew I had. We really are a community and I hope to see this community help rally support when a member of that community, such as myself, is in trouble.

Josh Wolf

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Another Attack on Internet Fair Use

Will they never stop? Industry rascals are trying to slip in changing to the copyright law. In this next wave of mischief you would need:
  • separate licenses just to view a video or listen to music on line.
  • then if you wanted to just see it or listen on line that would be another license, (and fee) to have a temporary copy on your computer.
  • if you wanted to rent/store a monthly subscription copy that would be another fee
  • and to own it would still be another fee.
In other words, $, $$, $$$. In other words who gets to control the use of content? Historically it has been in the users hands. This would be like charging me for the book. Then charging me to open the book. Actually reading the words, another fee. Skipping ahead to the next chapter, ca-ching. Tradition I say - leave it to me to decide how I want to use a product.

If you have the time go to http://action.eff.org/sira
Plunk in your zip to find your congressperson who hasn't been brought up on charges yet. Make a polite phone call. I copied this from EFF but I don't think they would mind:

Keep your call to your representative short and polite. Here's a sample call, with suggested points to make:

STAFFER: Hello, Senator/Representative Lastname's office.

YOU: Hello, I'm a constituent, and I want you to know my concerns with the wording of the Section 115 Reform Act currently being considered by the Judiciary Committee. The wording in this bill implies that copyright licenses are required for even temporary copies of content on the Net and in computer memory. It's also extending the legal definition of copyright "distribution" to cover transmission over the Internet. Both of these changes have not been discussed by the committee, but could radically affect digital technology industries. I'm asking my representative to oppose the Section 115 Reform Act.

STAFFER: Okay, I'll make sure that's noted.

YOU: Thank you.

The price of freedom is action. (Yeah I know it is real "Vigilance" but I can't spell worth a damn at 5:37am.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Policy Protest At South Pasadena Farmer's Market

The Gold Line Poets got off the train at Mission station to meet folks at the South Pasadena Farmer's Market. As you walked from the train station this was the first thing that you would have seen. I don't care what side you stand on so long as you are peacefully articulating you point of view.

This is the QuickTime Version

This is the Windows Media Video Version

It just so happens that there are more people on the political left that I encounter than people on the political right. And seeing how I am not exactly welcomed in those places where the political right hang out at – which I have no idea what those places are cuz I never see any invitations, grass roots meetings, flyers, or people on the corner demonstrating their faith and support of the current administration's policies.

It might be geography. It might be I hang with the wrong crowd. I have a feeling it might be some of those places that have $300 to $1,000 a plate chicken dinners. (Do they serve chicken at those dinners?) It might be the type of events that require high heels. My flat feet would be yelping before I got out the door. But should I happen to stumble into a public, Los Angeles specific conservative, right leaning event I promise to give equal time and consideration.

Poetry on the Gold Line - Teka Lark Lo

Ah, Barbie. Now that is a dame that has caused some commotion for the past 40 or 50 years. Women carve up their faces to look like her, people spending thousands of dollar to worship the icon of American beauty. Not to mention the clothes, cars and fabu homes.

No wonder she has so many jobs. I tell ya, she is an anorexic basket case waiting to happen. But what if Barbie had a secret life. What if she had a secret lover whose name is not Ken? In this poem from the Gold Line series Teka Lark Lo explores the realm of love with a Raggedy piece of cloth. For more information about Teka visit:

or http://lareal.blogspot.com/