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Jeff Bruzzese speaks out.

The Perception of Corruption

Corruption is defined as...

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

City of Steubenville Doesn't Care About Rape

Last week Ma'lik Richmond rejoined the Steubenville High School football team and the fallout from the school and school board's decision was huge.  Huge enough that several petitions were started and the petition "Remove convicted rapist from Big Red football team" has already reached almost 40,000 signatures.   That is more signatures than the entire population of Steubenville, Ohio.  That is 4 times more people than their 10,000 seat football stadium holds.
On Tuesday, local businessman, Mark Nelson attended a Steubenville City Council meeting and stood before the council to ask that they make a public statement regarding the decision to allow Ma'lik back on the  football team for Steubenville High School.
"I am asking council to draft a statement because the world looks at Steubenville and doesn't see a public outcry. Some of us are outraged because the school district is not handling the situation properly," Nelson said. "The school district lowered the bar to accept someone who committed a crime against a woman. What does this say about the team and its players? This is especially grievous when it makes the national and international news."The school district decision was not well thought out and I encourage the city to make a statement to the world that we all don't feel this way," Nelson added.
- See more at:
Do you want to know how Steubenville City Council responded?  They essentially told the world again that they don't care about rape.  City Councilman Kenny Davis claims that his town has been unfairly painted in a negative light because of the rape case but via his very words this evening he affirmed that conception about Steubenville.  When referring to the VICTIM he referred to her as "his accuser".  OH REALLY!  Accuser?  The boys were adjudicated delinquent by a judge; therefore the accusation was proven and determined to be the crime of RAPE.  Why couldn't Mr. Davis refer to Jane Doe as the victim?  As far as I am concerned his statement gives the appearance that he doesn't believe a rape occurred.  What was so difficult about calling it what it is?  Accuser is so disrespectful and minimizes what happened to Jane Doe.

THAT is why people are mad, Mr. Davis.  The victim blaming that continues to occur is despicable.  The fact that Ma'lik was allowed to return to the field sends the message that there is no accountability for criminal conduct.  What are others on the team to think?  That it's okay to rape because you'll still be on the team?  Steubenville educators and administrators went out of their way to protect a football program over the victim - even so far as committing felonies to do so.

Davis  claims that the town has been "unfairly" painted in a negative light.   Let me break it down for you, Mr. Davis.  It does not matter that your town has more churches than bars. That means jack all. A rape happened in your town and there was an attempted coverup by Mike McVey and others.  Adults in your town maligned a young girl and victim blamed her and continue to do so.

Your town is being painted in a bad light because of your behavior and the continued enabling of rape culture.  No one cares if you are a lifelong Catholic; again that has jack to do with anything.  We're talking about the decision to let a Tier II registered sex offender back on the field.  Forgiveness has nothing to do with it either.  Where in your word vomit did you say one word about Jane Doe?  What about her?  What about her second chance?  Does she get a do over?

I don't think you have to worry about people coming to Steubenville and staying.  From the looks of things it would appear that people are going to avoid Rapeville like the plague.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Steubenville: Time to Take Out the Trash

I was able to find a copy of the Bill of Particulars online - thanks to  who posted the copy on Twitter.  I know I sound like a broken record when I say that this case continues to get stranger and stranger with each court hearing, but it's true.  This case is like a rotten onion.  The more you peel back layers the more funk that lies underneath.  This past court hearing didn't disappoint in the deliverance of the "funk".  Superintendent McVey's attorney had asked that the State provide a Bill of Particulars regarding allegations against their client.  I have included the 4 pages that were posted, and transcribed from page 4 which reads as follows:

Count 5
  1. Nature of Offense:  Obstructing Official Business, specifically the defendant violated Section 2921.31(A)M-2, Ohio Revised Code.
  2. Conduct of Defendant, Date and Time:  Michael McVey, defendant, from on or about April 5, 2012 to November 19, 2013, within the County of Jefferson aforesaid, in violation of section 2921.31(A) of the Ohio Revised Code, did without privilege to do so and with purpose to prevent, obstruct, or delay the performance by a public official of any authorized act within the public official's official capacity, did commit an act that hampered or impeded a public official in the performance of the public official's lawful duties, to wit: including but not limited to the following:  deleted emails, "wiped" computer(s) (and/or had someone else "wipe" computer(s)), failed to comply with subpoenas served upon him, failed to provide information regarding an investigation the school undertook and/or lied about an investigation that the school undertook, manufactured email(s) with false or misleading information, directed others to create record(s) after the fact, and/or created a misleading timeline after the first subpoena was served upon him. 

I am not even sure what to say at this juncture regarding the allegations against McVey.  Obviously, he has not been found guilty of any crime yet but...the slightest possibility that he may have done what he is being accused of makes him and the other adults in that school system even more reprehensible.  Again, not one -- repeat NOT ONE of them did their job as a mandatory reporter.  Lynnette Gorman couldn't be arsed to mandatory report after she found out that her son wasn't involved in the April incident.  Coach Fluharty didn't seem to give a crap either as he didn't mandatory report, and Mr. McVey - the superintendent and supervisor of all of these educators not only couldn't be arsed to mandatory report the abuse of a child, but he is alleged to have purposely tried to conceal evidence, and further instructed others to be dishonest or manufacture evidence in order to conceal these crimes against children.

There was a reason that locals were worried about a cover up from the beginning.  Because that's just how it is in Steubenville.  Cronyism, nepotism, you rub my back - I'll rub yours.  It has been that way for a very long time. Locals know it, and the Steubenville screamers club who continues to raise the "there was no cover up" defense don't want anyone to know how things work in their town.  Lots of hate for "outsiders", but honestly without the outrage of outsiders would we even know about Steubenville?  It is pretty obvious at this point that from the beginning they were trying to handle things their way.  Kind of like how the Country Club vandalism issue was handled, or certain someones shooting out car windows, or another one egging cars in broad daylight on Sunset Boulevard.  

This is a systemic problem that goes far deeper than one man's desire to protect an institution or a football program.  It goes way deeper than Mike McVey, and nothing is going to change in Steubenville until the trash is taken out and a clean up is done from the top down.

 So...really?  There was no cover up?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Less Than Honorable Behavior

There has been a lot of activity coming out of Steubenville lately from  illegal gambling raids to the Bill of Particulars being released in the State's case against school administrators regarding the alleged cover up to protect Steubenville high school athletes accused of rape.  Last week the Bill of Particulars was filed with the court which accuses Mike McVey, Superintendent of Steubenville City Schools of  wiping computer hard drives, erasing emails and lying to investigators about his knowledge of the allegations against the boys. There have also been allegations of witness  intimidation or harassment raised by both the prosecution and the defense in McVey's case.

McVey has pleaded not guilty to felony counts of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice, and misdemeanor counts of falsification and obstructing official business.

Early on McVey claims that he and the principal deferred investigation or judgment to Coach Reno Saccoccia when asked about the school's involvement in the investigation of the accusations.  In fact, McVey stated to CBS News in January 2013 that "protocol was followed" with regard to the handling of the investigation by the school.  That "protocol" should raise questions all over again since he now stands accused of covering up a crime and tampering with evidence.
Dean Reynolds: Do you see a possible conflict of interest there?
Superintendent Michael McVey: Protocol was followed, sir.
Reynolds: What is the protocol? You and the principal defer to the football coach?
McVey: We followed our discipline protocol as we usually do.
McVey: Once everything is over and the facts are out, then we will make our decisions on what has to be done or who was involved or who was not involved.

To date, Steubenville City Schools has not made any public statements about those educators who were indicted.  There are past statements about their willingness to cooperate with the investigation, however, those words hold no weight at this juncture, otherwise there would be a deeper desire and willingness to answer the unanswered questions that the public and their community has.

Steubenville City Schools released a statement in March 2013 which read:
"Last week was a difficult time for everyone in Steubenville, but especially for those of us
who work daily with young people. We are grateful to those who investigated and prosecuted the crime, and to all those who helped support the victim through this ordeal. We also are grateful to Judge Lipps for handling this case with great sensitivity and care, making sure that justice was served even under very difficult circumstances. As the trial in juvenile court proceeded, it was impossible not to ask what we might have done differently to prevent this horrible event from occurring.

Like everyone else, we are left with many unanswered questions and applaud Ohio Attorney
General Mike DeWine's decision to convene a grand jury to make sure the investigation is complete and to determine whether additional charges should be filed in this case. We will respect the results of that process, and, if necessary, will take appropriate action.

From the beginning, we have cooperated fully with this investigation and will continue to do
so. To the best of our knowledge, everyone associated with Steubenville City Schools students and employees – have cooperated, as we have encouraged them to do.

As a school community, it is time for us to move forward and focus our attention on the students in our classrooms. But, as we do that, we must learn everything we can from this case and try to figure out what, if anything, we can do differently so nothing like this ever happens again. We owe that to the victim, our students, and our community."
Rereading this statement now is cringe-worthy knowing that McVey and others have been indicted and/or charged with lying, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence for the purpose of protecting a football program instead of protecting a child.  Exactly WHAT has Steubenville City Schools learned from this case?  What have they done to make sure nothing like this ever happens again in their community?  What have they done to educate students and/or the community so that this never happens again?

For nearly two years the battle cry out of some Steubenville locals has been there was "no cover up".  Those unwavering screams turned into harassment of anyone who countered their screams with fact; some of those attacks were even coming from the Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office.  And then there is this gem from Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Frank Bruzzese:

It would appear that the local official in charge of Steubenville City Schools turned out to be not so honorable after all and had Jane Hanlin done her job with due diligence, Attorney General Mike DeWine would have walked away empty handed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cultural Apathy

Last week members of the Steubenville Police Department along with agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation executed the search warrants on 8 locations throughout Jefferson County in what was reported to be raids resulting from an illegal gambling investigation initiated by Steubenville Police and Ohio BCI.  An estimated $1.5 million was seized as a result of the coordinated raids.  

What is odd is the lack of response by Jefferson County Prosecutor's office and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department with regard to the raids.   Why hasn't the Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office and Sheriff's office congratulated Steubenville PD and BCI on a job well done?  There have been so many other congratulatory butt slaps over the past 2 years when it comes to joint effort investigations and arrests.  Why no congratulatory ticker tape this time?   

The other obvious elephant in the room is the lack of shock and awe from locals regarding these busts.  The general consensus among locals is that no one really sees the gambling as a problem because it is so entrenched in the culture that no one views it as against the law -- it just is a way of life there.  While reading on a few local forums and the WTOV9 Facebook fan site one gets the notion that there are far worse crimes in Steubenville that the locals want to be eradicated rather than the illegal gambling.  In fact, some have even bragged that their bookie wasn't "pinched" and they are still able to place bets.  

Investigators say the crackdown was initiated by the Steubenville Police Department. "We received a request from Steubenville PD in September 2013 to look into gambling in the Steubenville - Jefferson County area,” Said Jamies Ciotti, Special Agent Supervisor, Ohio BCI. 
"We’ve always known about the illegal gambling in Steubenville. Most citizens know about it - it's all over. It takes a joint effort -BCI doing such a large scale operation,” said Chief Bill McCafferty, Steubenville Police Department.
Read More at:

Everyone in town knows a bookie or where to find illegal gambling.   It is a generational issue that is part of the cultural fiber, and as such people are apathetic to whether it violates the law or not.   As the veil of corruption is slowly being lifted in Steubenville there will be those that continue to fight against the sunshine that is illuminating a century old complacency when it comes to cherry-picking the law or protecting their own.  Corruption has been part of the culture of Steubenville for many years, too.   It has been a part of the town's history for as far back as anyone can remember - even being the subject of a book written in 1947 called "Twelve Against the Underworld".  Twelve local ministers and priests attempted to cleanse their town of prostitution, gambling and corruption but obviously were unsuccessful at doing so.  

Not much has changed since 1947.  The present Sheriff of Jefferson County, Ohio has been in office for almost thirty years and was criminally indicted on corruption charges back in 1990.  He also runs unopposed during election time.  His brother is the chairman of the Democratic Party of Jefferson County and also plead guilty to racketeering charges over twenty years ago.  Jane Hanlin has used her position as Prosecuting Attorney for the benefit of a private citizen when she testified on behalf of felon Branko Busick.  Branko Busick was a former Steubenville High School athlete who was facing two to ten years for several violent offenses including that he pistol-whipped someone allegedly for gambling debts.  Mrs. Hanlin testified as a character witness on Busick's behalf and he got off with only probation.  Mayor Mucci has had so many DUI's that they should probably get him a designated driver as part of his salary.  

Strange things are happening in Steubenville, and this time those things might be for the better.   HUGE kudos to Chief McCafferty for being the guy who stopped being apathetic and did something about it.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Domain is back

Just as an FYI, the domain is back up.  I'll be posting future content at  :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Perception of Corruption?

Corruption is defined as "dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power".  Falsifying police reports and tampering with official police recorders so that misconduct would not be documented would certainly be perceived by the average layperson as "corrupt".  Using excessive force against persons who witnessed police misconduct would be perceived by the average layperson as "corrupt".  When those in power turned a blind eye and condoned this type of conduct, the average layperson would perceive that this behavior was "corrupt".
In August 1997, a second consent degree was reached with a police department under the "pattern or practice" provision, with the city of Steubenville, Ohio and its police force.218 In its complaint, the Justice Department alleges the city and the police department have engaged in a pattern or practice of subjecting individuals to excessive force, false arrests, charges, and reports, improper stops, searches, and seizures.219 The complaint states that Steubenville officials have caused and condoned this conduct through their inadequate use-of-force policies; inappropriate off-duty-conduct policies; and failure to supervise, train, discipline, monitor and investigate police officers and alleged misconduct. Among the offenses, Steubenville police officers allegedly used excessive force against individuals who witnessed incidents of police misconduct, who were known critics of the department or were disliked by individual officers, and who were falsely arrested or charged persons believed likely to complain of abuse. Further, officers allegedly falsified reports and tampered with official police recorders so that misconduct would not be recorded.

The city agreed to improve training, implement use-of-force guidelines and reporting procedures, create an internal affairs unit, and establish an early warning system to track use-of-force reports, civilian complaints and civil lawsuits to identify officers requiring increased training or supervision.
 The Consent Decree issued by the US Department of Justice specifically cites incidents of Constitutionally illegal behaviors.  It also required the implementation of policies and training to ensure that these incidents no longer occurred.  The City of Steubenville agreed to ensure that City law enforcement officers NOT behave in a manner that "deprived persons of rights, privileges, and immunities secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States".

1. The United States brings this action to enforce Section 210401 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141. The United States alleges that officers of the Steubenville Police Department have engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured and protected by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and that the City of Steubenville, the Steubenville Police Department, and the Steubenville City Manager (in his capacity as Director of Public Safety) have caused and condoned this conduct through inadequate policies and failure to train, monitor, supervise, and discipline police officers, and to investigate alleged misconduct.

2. The defendants in this action are the City of Steubenville, a municipality in the State of Ohio; the Steubenville Police Department ("SPD"), a law enforcement agency operated by the City of Steubenville; the Steubenville City Manager, an employee of the City of Steubenville who serves as the Director of Public Safety, and in that capacity, oversees the SPD and other agencies operated for the safety of persons in Steubenville; and the Steubenville Civil Service Commission, an agency of the City of Steubenville with authority for hiring and review authority for disciplining SPD officers. The defendants are hereinafter referred to collectively as "the City."


21. The City shall develop and implement use of force policies that comply with applicable law and current professional standards. The policies shall include provisions governing use of deadly force, other uses of force, drawing of weapons, roadblocks, vehicular pursuits, and hostage situations. The City also shall develop and implement new policies on off-duty responsibilities and off-duty gun use. Prior to implementation, the policies must be reviewed by the independent auditor and approved by the United States.

Consent Decree:

The Rev. Maurice D. White at the St. John's Lutheran Church said:

"At this very hour war is being declared in our town, a war which might better be termed a program of rat extermination, a war against men, machines, and powers which have made this city and its environs the hellhole of the State of Ohio. An energetic and enthusiastic resolve to rid this community of the scabs, parasites, the cheaters who have drained the lifeblood of decent living and have made of ita contaminated stream of corruption, is in the air. Too long has Steubenville enjoyed the dubious reputation of being a 'Little Chicago,' the open vice den of America. 
"Too long have men used this town as a dive in which they might go slumming. Too long has the atmosphere of our town been polluted with the vile salacious odor of immorality. Too long have politicians and public office-holders evidenced utter disregard for the law; too long have they neglected solemn responsibilities; too long have they used their office for personal gain. 
"Too long have our children had to be reared in the environment of the foul, the degenerate. Too long have the reputable citizens of this community turned a blind eye on the evil about them; too long have they complacently given up in despair. 
"It's time for war, a war long overdue. It's time for righteous wrath and indignation to be crystallized into action. It's high time that war be declared on the enemies within our
 The above quote from Reverend White was written in a book published in 1947 called 12 Against the Underworld.  The book is written about Steubenville, Ohio.  Those are very strong words coming from one of twelve pastors and priests who took on the underbelly of their town in the hopes that they could make it a better place to live.

It is very uninformed for someone to accuse me of creating a perception of corruption in their town -- when that perception...verified or not...has been there longer than I have been alive.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thoughts From the Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor

Tammy Dixon is a legal secretary at the law offices of Frank Bruzzese (Assistant Jefferson County Prosecutor), Jane Hanlin (Jefferson County Prosecutor) and Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Bruzzese who seems to be disappointed in the Ohio Attorney General's handling of the grand jury investigation and subsequent indictments. 

17 JAN 2014 - AUTHOR EDIT:

After I wrote this blog, Mr. Bruzzese took to Twitter to discuss it.  At 8:44 PM  EST Bruzzese @'d me on Twitter.  I have had him and his crew blocked for a very long time and didn't see the tweet come up in my mentions.

Later I had replied to another Twitter account who had tweeted to ICE alleging that I am an illegal immigrant.  My response was snarky because couldn't make this crap up.  Mr. Bruzzese responded to my tweet in kind.  Note, at no time did I mention him.

Bruzzese continues to voice his professional opinion.

Mr. Bruzzese, you are not a friend of mine nor do I know you - only friends   Your bucolic colors are showing.  Being a "professional" you should have more manners than that.  I do not know this man's family and at this juncture, have no desire to do so, but just because others in his own hometown have an issue with them does not mean I am responsible for their PERCEPTION.  I'll get to that gem in a minute.

I unblocked him and this is some of the dialogue.

I have since blocked him...again.  Aren't there ethical codes in place for this kind of behavior?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Steubenville Matters

First of all, I would like to point out a misconception about Steubenville as a whole.  There ARE good, decent, hard-working people who live in Steubenville, Ohio who are unfortunately being labeled because of the abhorrent behavior by a handful of miscreants who continue to victim blame and shame Jane Doe on a regular basis.  These good people are also afraid to speak openly about this behavior for fear of retaliation against them or their families, and with good reason.  I have been the target of harassment for over a year by these people.  I can't say that I blame anyone local for not wanting to speak out against them because they have to live there among these people.  I have also been the subject of a lawsuit filed against my anonymous commenters and myself for speaking out about this case. (copy of lawsuit here)

I have said little publicly about this case for a long time.  I have ignored the insults and hate speech for longer than anyone else would have.  The families of those involved have threatened to sue me for what amounts to nothing more than internet butt hurt for the past year now.  I have been accused of being everyone on the internet that speaks out against them and they have harassed, targeted, intimidated and shit talked my family, innocent friends and myself for over a year.   Their hatred of me has become a very sick, unhealthy obsession. I am reminded of the question I asked myself on August 22, 2012 when I first read about this case:  Why would these kids act this way? The answer is very clear:  Look at the examples they have in their lives.  They have adult role models in their lives who bully, harass and intimidate others for speaking out, so why wouldn't these kids opt instead to do nothing but shame, blame and bully Jane Doe on social media?

I am not a US citizen.  I am a German immigrant who proudly lives in this country and loves everything about America.  I have been a staunch defender of the right to free speech and vehemently fought for the rights of my anonymous commenters to remain anonymous when we were sued by the family of Cody Saltsman with regard to the Steubenville rape case.  I could have had the attitude every man for himself when I was sued, but I didn't.  I rallied behind my John Doe defendants and ultimately was able to enlist the assistance of the ACLU to represent them so that anonymous speech was protected; and more importantly that their identities were protected.  Even as an immigrant, I am entitled to "unalienable rights" as afforded by the Constitution:  the protection of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".  Over the past year, I have been a target of hate speech; I have been hunted like an animal by individuals wishing to expose where I live, where I work or who I may have relationships with.  Why?  Because I wrote about a rape case involving their not so compassionate children.  I have purposely not disclosed where I live because these people are unhinged, and people with stalker obsessions are capable of doing bad things.  So, yes...I am in hiding.  NO ONE should have to live like this.  They are so hell bent on destroying me as a person that they have and continue to inhibit my right to earn a living and the right of those who may work for me to earn their living.  Because of their behavior and absolute intent on destroying or causing me physical harm, I am not even in a position to file a police report...because that would disclose my location and potentially put me in danger.

Connie Lulla, who used to be my best friend and who is also the wife of a Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Officer  instrumental in the Steubenville case went so far as to post my partial address on her twitter timeline.  Was Connie trying to intimidate me because she and her posse were able to stalk down my address?  A reasonable person would assume so.

...but these are not reasonable people.

The mother of my former best friend, Georgeann Tennant Allen, has wished me to die of AIDS and has made other innocuous threats about me being "in hiding". She has made threats openly on Twitter, and has wished my best friend who suffers from mental illness to just take something to end her suffering.  I would hope that I am not alone when I ask - WHO DOES THIS?
My status as a legal permanent resident alien should have nothing to do with this case, but apparently among Mrs. Tennant-Allen and her friends - it makes my opinions or thoughts less important.  It also reveals a very dark side of this group:  their bigoted and misogynistic attitudes which feeds the hate and ignorance machine.


Even my deceased Vietnam Vet father was not off limits to these people.

This case has been important for a few reasons.  It opened the world's eyes to the word "rape culture".  The content put online that night allowed the world a bird's eye view of rape culture in action, and also revealed the insensitivity of a group of entitled kids who believed they were immune from accountability - an idea that the adults online reinforce regularly.  It is also an important case because it empowered so many survivors of sexual violence who may never have been able to let the unspeakable pass their lips to do so and that there were people out there who were willing to stand up and do the right thing...regardless of the personal cost.

Attorney General Mike DeWine summed up the Steubenville situation very eloquently in his statement on The Cleveland Plain Dealer
But the lesson of Steubenville is not just that rape is a horrible crime of violence. While this began as a rape of a 16-year-old girl, it also represents blurred, stretched and distorted boundaries of right and wrong. It started out being about the kids, but it is just as much about the adults. How do you hold the kids accountable if you don’t hold the adults accountable?

A 14-member special grand jury convened after the rape trial. The members listened to 123 witnesses over a seven-month period. The grand jury has now indicted six adults, each presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial. The charges, in connection with the juvenile rape, range from obstruction of justice, falsification of statements, tampering with evidence, failure to report child abuse and neglect, and allowing underage drinking.
What is obvious to anyone following what happened in Steubenville is that a lot of adults failed a lot of kids. Grown-ups provided alcohol to minors. Grown-ups protected some kids at the expense of others. Grown-ups preserved an image over exposing reality.
As parents and as adults, we have an obligation to lead by example. We must teach our kids right from wrong and teach them basic standards of human decency. But in this age of social media and instant communication, a culture of “anything goes” has evolved. Act now, think later, and don’t worry about the consequences. We use our devices to communicate -- leaving an electronic barrier that divorces us from shame and from taking responsibility for actions and how those actions affect others.(Source:

Temporary Digs

I am putting up the blogspot as a backup to my dot com.  I think it's important that this information, specifically on the Steubenville case, be out in the public domain.  I'll put up all the links and try to grab the old blog posts as well.  Dot com should be back up by the weekend.

Till then...keep on keepin' on. :)