New to Blogging

If You’ve Never Blogged before, I’ve some basics to share with you.

I’m glad you showed up here to check it out! The usual blog is opinion based but the blogosphere (blog world) is chock full of aspiring journalists and writers cutting their teeth or proving their prowess. This blog is an unofficial Town Hall meeting where everyone (the whole community) gets to pose their opinions, questions and answers about what is going on in Blissfield Michigan.

Together the community should be deciding what our issues are and how to attack them. I have written a few articles about what I have learned and have shared them with you. You can choose to comment (or maybe just plain school me) about the article I’ve written, or reply to other comments by selecting the “reply” link under each comment. Go nuts! Love to hear from you.

The link to “Leave a comment” is located at the very bottom of the post, either as a reply box or a text link (Comment) following the tag words. The posts are listed in the right hand side bar as links to access previous posts. Older posts can be found using the month links, or category drop down menu.

To prevent your real name being published (recommended) with your comment, just put an alias like “truthquest” or “Concerned Citizen” (as an example), where it asks for your name. The email has to be an authentic email address owned by you but will not be published with your comment (if you want to subscribe to comments or posts). I am the only person that will see your email address, if you think I might know who you are by the address you supply…get an anonymous email account like teddybear@yahoo or whatever.com.

Compose your comment, check for spelling errors and click submit. If you would like to receive updates to new comments check the little box beneath your reply before you click submit. This function is automatic with the wordpress system, something I don’t get to see but adds convenience for the user. Of course if you used a bogus email address, you cannot use this feature, nor will you receive a polite email to explain why your post will not be published if you attempt to abuse the blog.

19 Responses to New to Blogging

  1. Paul Steedle says:

    Robin, I write this to congratulate you on your vast knowledged of everything. Your pontification on community structure, wind turbines, politics, even on what our civic leaders are thinking is most impressive. But now, making us aware of your talent for brick path design, flower color choices, even crockery is so enligntening it seems almost too much education for one person to possess. I am amazed that with your knowledge and expertise you are not running a small country somewhere. In fact, I wish you were. Just think, if you had been offered the Michigan Main Street Manager position we might not yet be aware of what a negative, unhappy and petty person you are.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom Mr. Steedle. Perhaps you could have used your vast knowledge and been more convincing by pointing out where I was wrong and why instead of being petty yourself (but humorous). I was unaware that I was making your existence so intolerable that you wished I was running a small country elsewhere.

  2. Ray says:

    Paul Steedle, I read your post…Are you kidding me? Is your argument so thin that you cannot state any facts, offer any new info or ideas and only use 3rd grade tactics to debate your opponents? Are you sure Robin doesn’t have cooties? Have you not ever heard of a brand new invention that Al Gore came up with called the internet? After Robin posted her article on Wind Farms, I spent about 3 hours researching online and found that I too didn’t think they were a good idea. I never knew a thing about them before and now I feel as if I have lived with one in my backyard for 10 years. If the Pony Express hasn’t delivered your letter to GE or John Deere yet, maybe you should pick up another new invention called the telephone, and ask some questions of people who now have electricity in their homes, rather than your other friends who still live by candlelight. Yes, I know that I am being facetious here, but really are you so out of touch that you don’t know that with a topic in hand and a few hours to investigate, that answers from all across the world are available to you in a nanosecond? Again, I’ll use the same pun I started with, rather than show us your medieval knowledge, go shoe some more horses because you never know when the Pony Express will deliver your return mail.

  3. Dorothy Steedle says:

    My remarks are addressed to the residents of Blissfield who may be following this blog. Amazing how similar Robin and Ray sound; they must have attended the same writing and logic classes. A couple of comments on Ray’s response—a few hours of research on the Internet is hardly the equivalent of years of education and experience in a given field of endeavor. You can’t believe everything you read in Wikipedia and other “informative” sites. A great deal of misinformation and personal opinion are masquerading as truth in these venues. Ray’s self-styled “facetious” comments lack the humor intended, and the “pun” concerning the Pony Express was not a pun but an analogy, and a very poor one at that.

    Enough of Ray. This blog has become so complex, convoluted and contradictory that it’s like trying to follow a snake through a maze on a river of reeds. Attacks, counterattacks, and further attacks have been made on everything from the purpose and performance of Village government, the serving of cookies at a public meeting, to the color of flowers in the downtown planters (good heavens!). This is all well and good. Citizens have a right to express dissatisfaction, although there are better venues for that than crabbing to one another and nasty sniping on a blog where they can hide their own identities.

    But what is not well and good is concerted, vicious attacks on particular individuals. Ray comments to New to Blogging that he (New) is using third-grade tactics to make his point. Well, I must say that I’ve upgraded the bloggers’ behavior to that of seventh graders. This cruel, vindictive bullying, that can serve no conceivable purpose, is typical of pre-high-schoolers who want to demonstrate their superiority over those they choose to defame. We should not tolerate this. Throughout the many weeks of this blog, I have seen the names of Lynn and Darlene Southward, Jae Guetschow, Jim Wonacott, and, most egregiously, Kay Brown, slandered with no regard for truth or the sensibilities of those so attacked. Whether you approve of our city government or not, whether you like the downtown flowers or not, whether or not you wish you had never heard of Michigan Main Street, to personally attack these hardworking, dedicated people is unconscionable. What do Robin and her supporters hope to gain by doing so?

    In one of Robin’s early blogs, Fallacy of Composition—and, wow, could I go on about the whole logical fallacy subject, but I won’t—she uses Norman Rockwell’s Gossip to illustrate her belief in what the “elite and intertwined clique” is doing. How ridiculous. It’s exactly what she and some of her respondents are doing. Allow me to paraphrase: “My dear, I heard there is black mold in that building.” “Yes, indeed, it must be so, because so-and-so paid only $$$ for that building some time ago, and that was probably the reason.” “And, you know, I saw someone taking a coffee pot in there; no doubt they will be illegally selling beverages.” “I know what you mean, those people will do anything they can get away with.” Give me a break! This is not gossip?

    Well, enough is enough, both from me right now and from the nasty smear campaign going on through the blog. Yes, we can voice our opinions; yes, we can have disagreements, but rude and false character assassination is not the behavior of thoughtful, intelligent, caring adults. Blissfield is better than that and, I hope, so are you.

    • Robin says:

      Just to summarize, especially for you Dorothy: There is a network of elites that have set themselves up to benefit from decisions only they are allowed to make, while excluding and intimidating others from contribution. Judging by the sniper type remarks, it’s pretty easy to determine who is involved in this network. What you are refusing to understand is this blog is a gathering of community members simply pushing back, because we believe we can do better.

      There is nothing vindictive behind anything I have written and I can corroborate everything I’ve written, in fact I’ve often provided links to information that backs up my information. I didn’t read any vindictiveness in any replies either. Telling the truth about right versus wrong/fair and unfair is not considered by anybody else’s standards (save the snipers), anywhere near a smear tactic or character assassination or even slander. Sorry.

      Of course you would view anything written on here (save the snipers) as anything more than ridiculous, your preeminence is at stake. I would like to bring to your attention that the snipers are what I consider nasty with their conversational skills; hence proving tactics that affirm the community does indeed need to push back.

      Ray discussed wind turbines (that your husband brought up) and his three hours research that brought him to a decision about whether he was for or against them. Ray at least did his own research. Wikipedia is not the only source of information on the internet; I agree with you that it’s not the most reliable source, the reason why I haven’t cited it as a source to date. But to defend the internet from your lowly view, there is a plethora of expert, professional and scientific information out there in the form of white papers and studies (I think you’re smart enough for me not to continue this list of examples). I don’t think it’s even logical to expect years of education and years of experience in a given field of endeavor to qualify an ability of making a decision whether or not one should have a wind turbine in their backyard.

      Perhaps you may want to go back and actually read the article – don’t forget to click on the links.

      If you have such a wealth of knowledge about fallacy of logic, why didn’t you even attempt to prove your intellect by sharing? If you wish to determine, and therefore convince others that your position has any weight, why do you make blanket generalizations? A point Ray mentioned (as is a pattern of the snipers) the same thing I sound like a broken record about is trying to get through to you guys; if you are in disagreement with any point made here, why don’t you pick it apart point by point. Give me some facts to back up your remarks. I’m pretty confident you can’t.
      Who’s rude and practices false character assassination? The elite’s behavior is not thoughtful, intelligent or caring, not to mention fair and ethical, it doesn’t bode well for you trying to turn the tables and blame us for the very things you’re guilty of, the things that got us here in the first place. Especially since we have already verbalized what when and where.

      The most important thing you’ve failed to pick up on is the banter Ray has extended, to show the ludicrousness of the tact Paul Steedle and others (snipers) have taken. Instead of emotionally defending your husband’s comment go back and read it, recognize the absurdity of a communicae between two parties using the same tact and try to find the hope in hell of achieving any kind of conclusion or gleaning any usable information from it. If I have to spell it out – that exchange could go on all day with nothing of value said. Your husband has no place questioning my knowledge when he’s displayed none of his own. Frankly, you didn’t do any better, you just used more words.

      You’re (with the help of your friends) approaching the line, I will not publish your comments if you can’t be civil and offer a substantive argument to refute information given on this blog, I can’t say it in any more ways than I already have. Tell your cronies.

    • Sandy Meeks says:

      It seems that my contributions on this blog are being referenced here, as well. I take issue w/ some of the assertions made in your note, Dorothy.

      But, a couple of “things” up front: Just b/c I’m using this forum (known in the local vernacular as “Robin’s blog”) does not mean that I agree sum and substance w/ Robin’s opinions. She and I have no trouble agreeing to disagree and respect each other b/c of it. And I’m keenly aware of those of you who cold-shoulder me b/c of my writing on this site. That was a consideration in my initial decision to contribute at all, even whether to use my name or not b/c I knew of the likelihood of such a response. But I felt strongly enough about what I had to say that I was willing to let it all hang out. The cold-shoulders and eyes that don’t meet say a whole lot about YOU – not about me.
      Next, I have told many that I truly like and enjoy the people with whom I’ve worked over this couple of years: committee peers, people from other committees who’ve stopped by to contribute, Village officials. It’s been a lot of fun and laughs, there’s been much work accomplished and I’ve learned a lot. And you will not find where I have disparaged any of those you mentioned, save Kay. So please do not infer in a generalized statement that I did.

      As to the “complex, convoluted and contradictory” nature of this blog, I believe that is inherent in a forum where people are encouraged to give their opinions. How can “contradictory” not happen? I know when I see something that I want to respond to, I pick up on it and post a comment. And off we go in a different direction. So what?
      I also don’t feel there are any topics that are too trivial to discuss. “Trivial” is an adjective assigned to a subject by the “speaker”. Then the “speaker” takes ownership of that description – it doesn’t necessarily make it trivial to the reader/listener. I just came back from dinner w/ neighbors and as we were getting back into the car, one of the diners said, unprovoked, “Who in the world made the decision to put that color flower into those planters? And, those pitiful hanging pots !” (Punctuation is mine) So, people do notice and make evaluations of the environment around them where the next person may not. It isn’t that the planet will stop turning on its axis, but to some people different “things” are important.
      Now, to the gut of what you were saying, Dorothy, the “cruel, vindictive bullying …typical of pre-high-schoolers who want to demonstrate their superiority…” Why isn’t Kay standing up for herself? ? Is she not capable of that? Let her put on her big girl panties and fight her own battles and stop hiding behind others. Don’t even try to convince me that she isn’t tuned in to this blog each and every day, in one way or another. Why does she need you or anybody else to chase away us pests? I say what I say b/c I took it in the chin time and time again from her until this last “straw that broke the camel’s back”. I want her to understand how hurtful her behavior was to me. What makes her feelings any more special than mine? Why am I to take her disregard, her snide remarks, her ignoring? Answer that. She comes bearing gifts: flowers, brownies, accolades to lure you into the web, then when you dare to disagree w/ her, let alone hold firm your position, she reacts emotionally and there is when you see your elementary student, Dorothy.
      I will continue to speak out in any way I want, to whomever I want, in whichever venue I want. The last I read the Amendments, number I (one) applied to all of us, equally. I’ll persist in whatever it takes to keep Kay Brown from directing/manipulating all the decisions in this Village.
      What do you mean, “Kay Brown, slandered with no regard for truth…” ? I have spoken nothing but the truth about Kay and her treatment of me. Give me an example of how I lied about her. Of course, asking her about a particular incident, she’ll not admit it; quite probably, will deny it. That’s her MO – play dumb. But, again, tell me a lie I told about her. In most instances, the FoHB committee members were right there; whether they noticed or not is another thing. (When you [other readers] see me around sometime, ask me why the Advance stopped printing my and Dorothy’s articles. Ask me about this year’s Make A Difference Day project. That may even show up in here someday soon.)

  4. Robin says:

    By telling your cronies, I didn’t mean getting your friends or family members from Maumee to pretend they would have relocated to Blissfield if it wasn’t for that mean spirited blogmaster attacking innocents willy nilly.

    I might have even said nice try if it wasn’t so glaringly transparent.

  5. Dorothy Steedle says:

    I had intended not to participate in this blog again; I have too much to do to spend time on these silly back-and-forth accusations and rebuttals. But I am puzzled: who are you referring to in Maumee? I haven’t seen any posts, nor do I know anyone there.

    While I’m here, though, I might as well answer a few of your comments. You state, “There is a network of elites that have set themselves up to benefit from decisions only they are allowed to make …” To whom do you refer? The DDA, the Council, the Friends of Historic Blissfield — or all of them? Council is elected by the citizens of Blissfield; the DDA is a group of businessmen and Village residents formed to further the economic and cultural interests of the town; FOHB is a group of volunteers that wants to help the DDA and Council in accomplishing Village visions and goals with the very able assistance of the Michigan Main Street Program. This is a very small town. Of course, some of these people are related, are friends, and, as you put it, are “intertwined.” These people are not part of an evil network set up to serve their own purposes nor exclude and intimidate anyone else. What “purposes” could they achieve? They do not see themselves as “elite,” merely as interested, dedicated participants in the future of Blissfield.

    You say that there is nothing vindictive in things you have written. How about: “Learning how to manipulate or be passive aggressive, going underground to get what someone wants …” or,” “You played a good game Kay … you looked so sweet and kind.” And, “Instead of you playing games with people why didn’t you just draw the shades and lock the doors to your open meetings and save some people the grief.”
    And your “cronies” have been even meaner. Speaking of which, I must respond to “Me” regarding my “misquotes.” If you notice, I used the word “paraphrase,” indicating that I was NOT quoting. I was merely illustrating what I saw as a supreme example of gossip.

    I have no idea what you mean by my preeminence is at stake. What stake? I have nothing to gain or lose by participation in things that interest me.

    And, finally, you suggest that I am “approaching the line,” whatever that means, and you will not publish my comments if I can’t be civil. My civility is impeccable compared to what I have seen on these posts. The fact that you have the power not to publish any individual response renders the concept of a blog somewhat moot, does it not? If you can just ignore posts you don’t approve of, what value does the dialog have? Actually, I could not care less whether I’m published or not. I have said what I have to say, and I stand by it and my “cronies.”

    • Robin says:

      I am (at this point), the author of the posts but this blog belongs to the community, it is not “mine” – it is “ours.”

      Attempts to abuse the forum and/or its contributors will not be tolerated – that’s the line. I have mentioned numerous times what is not acceptable; I even went into further detail on “Fallacy of Composition.” Lying and being malicious is not an integral part of an argument, how does avoiding that render the whole point of the blog moot? A response that only consists of calling me names is unproductive and unwarranted, why would there be any expectation of being published?

      An inabilty to understand or recognize the message does not negate it’s truth (this is where it’s more appropriate to ask qualifying questions to get more information regarding an argument, I would also suggest focusing on one or a few at a time).

      If something is said outside the context of a discussion that doesn’t directly relate to the topic at hand, is viewed as; they are at least providing information that some may find valuable. Points made with this scenario may or may not be picked up and discussed further. This is usually done because there is no relevant post for this information to be posted under, or the commenter has inadvertently posted the information somewhere other than the corresponding post or comment. This may be due to inexperience with our particular format. A concession for this is appropriate because there was no malintent.

      Blanket generalizations made in contempt are not only manipulative, but they neither prove nor disprove anything; they serve to convolute an issue or a point (this may be the convolution you are referring to, who knows? You failed to provide supporting information). On the other hand, if there is disagreement regarding a topic or a point, why not attack the argument instead of attacking the person making the argument?

      By using the word “paraphrase”, while taking creative license with your montage that was clearly spun into some sort of petty gossip party is quite a bit more than paraphrasing isn’t it? It’s manipulative and not at all relaying the truthful context of the separate discussions. Misrepresenting the facts are also not considered paraphrasing, e.g. “black mold” as opposed to “black with mold”. To be perfectly fair, how valuable would that information be to someone particularly sensitive to mold that also made a long term business investment into a space/building – that could compromise their health?

      Regarding the whole gossip issue as it were, Kay Brown tried to make the correlation to the discussions on this blog as gossip. You and keepitpositive are up in arms about something one of your own has said about the blog. The Norman Rockwell “Gossip” image was a visual representation regarding Kay Brown’s statement on a post that was in response to Kay Brown and keepitpositive. Nothing was ever uttered that your group are gossiping or are gossipers. I provided a link back to the previous post where the gossip remark was made, if the link was followed – perhaps the connection would have been made.

      Gossip is a negative term and generally includes unfounded or dishonest information for the purpose of causing someone harm. If you can’t prove, provide examples or explain why something is dishonest, you are being dishonest by leaving the impression.

  6. Dorothy Steedle says:

    Whatever. Goodbye. I will concede that I got a bit carried away with my “paraphrasing.” I should have said “characterizing.” The point remains that this reporting back and forth on what’s going on in someone else’s business is nothing short of gossip.

    PS to Sandy: Kay did indeed defend herself vigorously and competently in several posts under the heading of “It Takes a Village.” And she does not read this blog! Why should she waste time torturing herself?

    • Robin says:

      Thanks for your concession. Not that much of what I say to you is believable, understood or even matters, but for the proverbial record – that which affects me, is my business. Also, when people appoint themselves to public positions, judgments and criticism regarding their decisions and behavior is one of the consequences, their lives are no longer sheltered by the private realm. I believe it’s our civic duty to engage; in fact I have a letter from the United States Federal government urging me to do so. God Bless America!

      Luckily, our Constitution also gives you the right to stick your head in the sand and pretend that all is peachy if you wish to. I have to accept and respect that.

  7. sprite says:

    “Children say that people are hung sometimes for speaking the truth.” Joan of Arc

    • Robin says:

      “Jehanne… If you come from God, I do not fear you … if you come from the Devil, I fear you even less.” ~Constable de Richemont
      Sprite, Thanks for checking in.

  8. WeekendWarrior says:

    I noticed at Blissfield’s “Art At Your Feet” event that there were at least five panels with wind turbines included in the chalk drawings. I thought that odd, until I learned the event was co-sponsored by Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. Obviously no one has informed the artists that there will not be any wind farms built in our county in the near future.

    Since Blissfield’s Main Street program is an obvious promoter of GPRE Inc., I wonder if there will be vouchers provided to Blissfield citizens to purchase new lawn mowers. GPRE proudly announced on their Facebook wall (May 11th) that “E15 is here”. Unfortunately, my fairly new (2 yrs.) Troy Built mower with a 166cc Honda engine has a big black sticker on top of the tank “Do not use fuel containing more than 10% ethanol”. I have already had to have the mower repaired at a cost of $88.00. The owner of the small engine repair shop told me “Ethanol is our best friend in this business”. I can’t wait to get that voucher for $249.00 so I can purchase my new mower. Think the vouchers will be mailed to us, or will we have to drive to Riga and pick them up at the Ethanol plant?

    • Robin says:

      Weekend, I heard the rules for the Art At Your Feet event didn’t allow for political representations in the artwork. I guess the rules change when you have a politically motivated donor or sponsor. Obviously the committee that hijacked the art event has a political agenda and its okay to promote their ideology and make those that disagree just PAY and shut-up (two different sets of rules).

      Ethanol is a small engine repair business’s best friend when the small engine owners have to repeatedly come back for repairs. My guess regarding the voucher; they’d have to filter it through the government (administration fees, creative accounting, etc.) and would be mailed through the government USPS. You’d end up owing them — refuse the voucher.

      • WeekendWarrior says:

        I’ve had two small engine repair owners tell me that they love ethanol. I noticed at Lowe’s today that the newest lawn mowers still say “Do not use fuel containing more than 10% ethanol. Makes you think that the ethanol investors, lawn mower manufacturers, retail stores, and small engine repair shops are all in “cahoots” together. They all make more money because the ethanol destroys the engines.

        • Robin says:

          I doubt they are in cahoots in an organized fashion. It’s more reasonable that they all had the ability to spot a cash cow and jumped on board. Car manufacturers, dealers and auto repair should be on your list too, anything that contributes to failure helps the industries. I can imagine that it takes capital to design failure into products and if something comes along that helps turnover, it would save on research and development costs.

          In the free market system, we can root out manufacturing flaws (intended, or otherwise) but, everything gets substantially messier when government gets in bed and corrupts the symbiotic relationship. No longer can we vote to support (or not) anything with our dollars if the government is doing it for us. Ethanol has proven to be an epic fail, only those that benefit from it, support it. The same thing goes for wind technology. Government needs to be cut down to size and regulate commerce, not create it. Government needs to prevent one state infringing on another…and that’s it!

          We also need to get government out of regulating and taxing business to the point of business looking favorably on cash cows to compensate. We are paying our government to work against us, that was not the original intent, was it?

          • WeekendWarrior says:

            I’m sure you know the “cahoots” comment was a tongue-in-cheek comment. I agree, somehow while we were “boiling in a pot of water”, it turned out that we are paying our government to work against us. At least citizens in our county came to their senses (for a while anyway) about those wind “farms”. It’s a shame that we have to constantly be on guard to keep from sacrificing our way of living for the self-serving few.

            • Robin says:

              I wasn’t sure about the tongue-in-cheekiness (many would wonder the same thing…it’s not unreasonable), thanks for making it clear. It certainly is a shame that we have to be constantly on guard, the more help we get from watchmen or community activists, the lighter the workload will be. I hope more and more people sign up to stand guard than those that sit on the sidelines hoping someone else will rescue them.

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