Local governments are always looking for ways to “stick it to the little guy or gal” it seems.

If you look at your utility or tax bills, you’ll see all sorts of taxes and fees just to live where you live. By the way, politicians like to use the term “fees” as this keeps them from saying the “tax” word and angering voters.

It was not really a surprise when I recently read that the City of Philadelphia is charging bloggers $300 per year for a “business privilege license” because they believe blogging is a business.

They consider blogging a business because some bloggers receive a little money for advertisements that run on their blogs. The bloggers reported this as income on their taxes and “BAM” here comes the local government bloodsuckers to get their share. Continue reading

On Life Support?

In Monday’s Washington Post, Howard Kurtz writes about “Unfriendly fire: The angry media” where he mentions all the stuff that’s been going on in the media the last few weeks (Sherrod, New Black Panthers, etc.) and how the major media outlets are going after each other.

But what caught my attention was what Kurtz wrote about blogging and tweeting:

Certain bloggers were once singled out as bomb-throwers, but now just about everyone in the news racket is blogging or tweeting or trying to entice the gods of Web traffic — which is easier to do when you hit the hot buttons.

Probably the demise of journalism started when the first blog went on line. All of a sudden, some long-haired goateed guy sitting in his basement (like me) can churn out story after story or comment about a story in their local or national newspaper or on their local or national newscast at a moment’s notice.

The blogger can write things or ask things that journalism students learned were not appropriate in their first year of college. Continue reading