June 18, 2008

Positivity: Mother’s strong spirit pulls her through bout with deadly bacteria

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 10:13 pm

From South Bend and Mishawaka, Indiana:

Article published Jun 15, 2008

‘She’s a miracle’

Seated on the large L-shaped sofa between her wheelchair and the husband who saw her nearly die, Kim McClellan calls out for her prosthetic fingers.

One of her 9-year-old twins, Sieanna, scurries off, knowing exactly where the digits are. The girl returns with Kim’s Ziploc bag of fingers.

Kim plants one of them on a stub where the natural finger once was. The fake is stiff and straight. It feels awkward. She’s tried typing on the computer with them, hoping it would be the first step to working again, but it’s just a two-finger peck.

Same goes for both prosthetic legs. She hasn’t found her balance — yet.Deep inside her a fire smolders, a desire to overcome the amputations and reclaim the life she and her husband, Brent, had built before March 2007, when Group A Streptococcus slipped under her skin. The ferocious bacteria did its best to kill her, nearly shutting down her organs and turning her skin blue as a corpse.

“She’s a miracle, that she’s even alive,” says Dr. Janet Galanes, who has seen her for about nine years as her physician and, since the trauma, as her cheerleading friend. “She only got through that because of her will to live. … She had things to live for.”

CNNMoney E-mail Alerts Flag Dow 12000 Intra-day Trough, But Not 14000 Record

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:24 pm

Call it an obvious “InCNNsistency.”

Subtle bias towards emphasizing unfavorable economic news and against reporting good economic news is present in many places. I will demonstrate that it’s even sometimes in the brief e-mail alerts many people receive.

This alert I received today from CNNMoney demonstrates a long-known (by me) but, until now, unproven point:


But when the Dow closed above 14,000 for the first time on October 1, 2007, here is what that day’s CNN alert had to say:


I asserted at the time (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) my belief that CNNMoney was good at telling us when benchmark indices dropped below round numbers, while it was “strangely” remiss in noting round-number highs. The disparate treatment in the two-e-mails just shown proves the point.

Here’s another inCNNsistency to emphasize: CNNMoney didn’t even wait for the closing bell to tell us that the Dow went below 12,000, i.e., the below-12,000 dip was an intra-day event. I would suggest that CNNMoney didn’t want to miss an opportunity to insert an extra dose of pessimism, just in case the Dow might recover by the close.

There was no intra-day “Dow Breaks 14000″ e-mail last October.

Wouldn’t you know it? The Dow closed at 12,029. No doubt, a rough day. But the folks at CNNMoney may be taking satisfaction in the extra dig it got in.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Open Letter to Robert Cox at MediaBloggers.org (Update: AP Wants $2.50 a Word; Topside Update: Cox Posts His Take, Which Isn’t the Same As AP’s)

TOPSIDE UPDATE, June 19: Robert Cox has weighed in, claiming, first, that the blogosphere is overreacting while he is only defending one guy’s site, and second, that fees at the schedule people are linking to “are intended for business users having nothing to do with bloggers such as selling reprint permissions to corporate clients.”

As to the first point, it’s not in dispute that some of the AP’s “Take Down” items are short excerpts (39-79 words), and that AP appears to be trying to breaking new ground in limiting use of what it publishes. It’s also not in dispute that the New York Times (admittedly not a paragon of perfection) wrote that “(The AP’s) Mr. Kennedy said the company was going to meet with representatives of the Media Bloggers Association, a trade group, and others. He said he hopes that these discussions can all occur this week so that guidelines can be released soon.” Cox says that the Times erred in giving the impression that the Kennedy-Cox meeting would be about “guidelines,” and that the meeting he will attend only relates to the Drudge Retort issue.

I don’t know how Cox would know this, since the Times claims to have been paraphrasing what Kennedy told them. It would thus seem that until the Times or Kennedy clarifies or corrects what the Times reported about AP’s version of the anticipated agenda, we have to rely on it, because Cox wasn’t there. I would certainly prefer that Cox’s perception is correct, because while he doesn’t speak for anyone but himself, any guidelines resulting from that meeting would likely be taken by AP as “the rules of the road” going forward. I don’t recognize their right to have “rules of the road.” Those rules are in the law and the Constitution. AP’s only recourse is to fight in court over what those rules mean.

As to the second point, it’s not in dispute that the possible remedies in the Drudge Retort situation are taking the items down or settling financially and allowing them to stay up. Unless Cox is aware of a different frame of reference, the Excerpt for Web Use framework appears to be the only one out there. So until someone demonstrates that there is or would be another framework that AP has in mind, it isn’t unreasonable to believe that this is where the wire service would want to go.

TOPSIDE UPDATE 2, June 19: Gee, someone forgot to tell AP about the supposed limited scope of the Kennedy-Co meeting. Here’s their take

AP to meet with blogging group to form guidelines
June 17, 2008

The Associated Press, following criticism from bloggers over an AP assertion of copyright, plans to meet this week with a bloggers’ group to help form guidelines under which AP news stories could be quoted online.


(photoshopped by Michelle Malkin commenter Ugly American)

A related post is at NewsBusters.org.


Background (HT to Jill at WLST for the referral).

The following e-mail was sent to Robert Cox of the Media Bloggers Association earlier this morning (note that it was sent before the Related items noted at the end of this post):

Subject: AP and “fair use” discussion

Mr. Cox,

I would hope that you agree with me on the following, and would expect that you will bring up the following matters with the Associated Press.

I maintain that that a blogger has the right to excerpt and post as much of a wire service’s or news outlet’s report as is necessary to communicate his or her points. Artificial word-count, percentage-of-total-content, or other constructs are totally inappropriate, and unduly restrict First Amendment rights.

Additionally, just as I have the right to save a printed newspaper in my basement, AP and others must acknowledge that bloggers and other news consumers have a clear legal right to save whole articles and other news items such as videos to their hard drives for fair use purposes without fear of repercussions.

This is necessary so that a news consumer can compare how a news outlet covered an event as it was breaking to what it wrote or said about that same event and related items that followed some time later.

The ability to save whole reports for future reference is an essential element of monitoring what news outlets do. There is no other effective way to determine how the mindset and tone of reports might have changed or evolved after an original story was first reported. The ability to monitor this evolution is necessary for full engagement in the ongoing debate over whether the media outlets are responsibly exercising their First Amendment freedoms, and essential to informed discussion of news and events by individuals exercising their free-speech rights.

Another reason why the right to save entire reports is important is that media outlets must be held accountable if they attempt to delete original reports when subsequent events prove those original reports to have been erroneous. Though Google cache and Archive.org make such memory-hole flushes difficult, they don’t store every iteration, and news organizations can, I believe, prevent Internet archiving from taking place.

These are among the points FreeRepublic.com made a decade ago as it defended itself against the legal bullying of the Los Angeles Times. FR settled with Times-Mirror when it became clear that T-M was going to wear FR down legally and financially if it didn’t settle. I believe, as do many others, that had the process fully played out, FR had a reasonable chance of prevailing in the courts.

Finally, the AP and other media outlets must agree to appropriately modify the odious, bullying, and patently false copyright notices banning reproduction of any kind placed at the end of many of their articles.

AP and other media outlets seem to believe that they can define “fair use.” I do not and will not concede this point, nor should anyone else. They do not own the news, the First Amendment, or the Constitution.

Thanks for your attention to this.


Tom Blumer



  • Patterico — “AP Attacks Blogs for Quoting Their Stories, Then Quotes Even More Extensively from Blogs”
  • BetaNews — “AP sets up a toll booth for bloggers citing its stories.” $2.50 a word. (Apologies in advance to a commenter who was offended by this term when used a few days ago) What a bunch of Arrogant Pricks.
  • Michelle Malkin — “Hey, Associated Press: You owe me at least $132,125!”
  • Allah at Hot Air — “Must be nice to have an exemption from the same federal fair use statute every other content provider in America is governed by.” Earlier text misinterpreted Allah’s sarcasm.
  • Ace — “The AP picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue if it thinks it can charge people or outright forbid them from critiquing their coverage.”

Many more related posts are at Memeorandum.