February 02, 2008
That’s Right, We Bad

Tomorrow, Feb. 3, has been declared Global Blogroll Amnesty Day (GBAD) by two of our bestest blogging friends, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Jon Swift. We hereby add our humble voice to the multitude.

The theory behind the event goes like this. Some time ago, Atrios over at Eschaton, for which I think I still have a link sitting around somewhere, decided his blogroll was overblown. Perhaps it was costing him extra money to store so many links, or maybe he ran out of open threads before the blogroll ended. In any case, he decided to prune, and a bunch of people who previously had a little traffic directed to their blogs by being on his roll found themselves off the list. I don’t think anyone’s claiming intent to harm, but harm was felt. Soon after, Kos at Daily followed suit (as is his wont).

This left a decent number of decent folks feeling slighted, and God knows we feel their pain. For instance, Bad Attitudes used to be on the Eschaton blogroll, but last time I checked — I go there at least a couple times a year — we no longer made the cut. Dunno what’s happening at Kos, haven’t been there for as long as I can remember. (I note, however, that our good friends at Cursor have helped us keep up appearances.) I can see why we’re not considered A-list; after all, our colors are not butt-ugly, we use em-dashes and horizontal ellipses, and we don’t follow the DNC marching orders. We’ve discussed the possibility of a worldwide Bad Attitudes conference, but we ran up against what philosophers call The Bill Hicks Conundrum: people who hate people, come together!

The result of all this is that we B-listers gotta hang together, or we shall assuredly hang separately. Our massively esteemed but, sadly, intermittently active colleague Simbaud at King of Zembla used to engage in promotion of newly encountered blogs on a regular basis, and that’s basically the intent of GBAD.

So without further ado, here’s a few blogs I’ve recently come across for the first time. I do not imply by listing them here that they shine less brilliantly, or attract less traffic, than we do. And of course the biggest problem with any such endeavor is that one omits more than one includes, thus leaving more people pissed off than pleased. My only defense is the limitations imposed by the one commodity of which you’ve already got all you’re gonna get, time. If you know of other blogs that should be plumped, list them in comments, or better still at your own blog. The more the merrier!


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I encountered them in this order.

Democracy Lover combines fine writing with left-wing ’tude and good pointers.

We have two parties who, despite some superficial differences (primarily in rhetoric and tactics), support the same corporatist agenda: empire, huge military budgets beyond any possible rational necessity, and placing profits above people. Sure, the Republicans are crass and vile and obvious about their goals and the Democrats are more subtle and covert and try to give the impression they care, but in the end the underlying fundamental values are identical. I will concede that there is a difference on “social issues” — but to the extent it exists, it is driven more by placating the party base than anything else.

The current Congress has made it abundantly clear that the Democratic Party has no intention whatever of opposing even the most outrageous and un-Constitutional excesses of the Bush administration. They call press conferences and make speeches about their commitment to the rule of law and the will of the people, but in the end they always give the Cheney administration what it wants.

Rez Dog at Unsolicited Opinion takes a minimalist approach to blog design, preferring to concentrate on clear prose, deep feeling, and true patriotism.

The moral of this tale: Elections are only one part of the public discourse: community forums, public hearings, referenda, letters to the editor are the ongoing discourse between elections. What’s important to me is holding that discourse and creating a society were all prosper. I learned long ago that victory or defeat in an election is merely an event. What counts is how those events shape our lives and society. I look back at Henry Howell and George McGovern and I see positive results. I look at the current candidates for national office and see a few sparks and wonder if any will actually ignite.

I hope so. My country needs a conflagration of ideas and energy.

Alicia Morgan at Last Left Turn Before Hooterville combines Right Intention with skilled writing and forward thinking. Plus, she wields a mean Photoshop (or perhaps GIMP) at Capitol Punishment.

…the party’s over for me. Now it’s just a matter of doing what it takes to get a Democrat into the White House — more to keep the Repubs from adding any more right-wing fanatics to the Supreme Court than anything else. Emotion about politics is a luxury. When you can be enthusiastic about a candidate, it feels good and energizes you to work for them. Nothing wrong with being jazzed about your guy or gal, if I may be so bold. But it’s not a necessity. And if it weren’t for the justices and other appointments that are made by a President, I might not even care. Let the Repubs lie in the bed they made. Let them take on the disaster that the Boy King has saddled us with.

However, I can’t go there. I have to work for a Democratic candidate. I can’t sit back and leave my daughter with a Supreme Court that will take away her privacy and control of her own body. I can’t sit back and leave my sons with the possibility of being drafted when we run out of volunteer cannon fodder (or my daughter, for that matter.) I have to stand up for Democratic values and hope that our nominee will stand up for them, too. All I can do is pressure them within the party structure to move towards our real American values — liberal values.

Hillary? Barack? Who knows? Who cares? It’s back to business as usual.

Charles H. Butcher III, Chuck for …, is an Oregonian Democrat who’s big on guns and is angry about the right sorts of things.

I have never understood the personal enmity so common now in Congress, politics need not trump character or friendship. Certainly some uncomfortable character traits may accompany certain politics, making comradeship unlikely, but demonization is silly. Neither is it reasonable to take such a partisan stand that the other Party is cut out of debate or totally ignored, there are generally some give points, the Republicans have proven they don’t see that. Some Republicans have demonstrated that their Party trumps the nation and those need to be bulldozed, but it is, at any time, ridiculous to make enemies, you will have some anyhow. Things in Congress won’t have changed 1/20/09, this will have to be dealt with, so I don’t take “Unity” too seriously.

Grandpa Moses at The Freedom From Patriot News Censorship Blog is the newest kid on the block, or at least his blog is. He shares with us a love of great writing, a disgust for censorship, and an understanding of the truth of communication: the medium matters, but the message is the message.

…I am reminded of the words of the immortal Hunter S. Thompson:
“Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”

Indeed. The fear of ideas, particularly those that offer us searing truth, seems to pervade our world. Many of the old fogies who I grew up with can’t seem to understand that digitized print is becoming and will be our books and articles of the future. In fact they have already become so. Try some of the links to various blogs on the sidebar here. You will discover horrendous things about the press and the government that you cannot get from the “established press”. The newspapers may consider themselves sacred because the product they produce can now be held in one’s hand, but the written word is timeless and it will survive, in whatever format the future may present us with. Unfortunately, the censors will always be with us. Those who own certain formats who are trying to hold onto their monopoly over words by censoring ideas will one day find that their product is as useless as a buggy whip.

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Posted by Chuck Dupree at February 02, 2008 07:50 PM
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Thanks so much for the link Chuck. I see that you commented and my site didn't automatically take the comment. I'm going to fix that now. At any rate, thanks for the comment and the link. We'll be back over here real soon. Sometimes a man just gets fired up again.

Grandpa Moses.

Posted by: Grandpa Moses on February 2, 2008 8:21 PM

thanks for helping out, chuck!

Posted by: skippy on February 3, 2008 12:00 AM

You're welcome to visit my blog at
http://laurencehunt.blogspot.com/

I have some opinions on various topics, mostly financial responsibility, but also the implications of same for social stability.

Dare I say the inmates have taken full charge of the asylum!

Posted by: Laurence Hunt on February 3, 2008 2:05 AM

Chuck, Thanks for the compliment and the link. It's an honor to be included in this group.

Now I'll have to post more often!

Posted by: Charley on February 3, 2008 10:50 AM

Chuck,
Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate how much time it takes to go through these things - I did it with Jon's "self-selected best" this year. I've now spent some time on your site and added your link to my roll, good stuff.

Posted by: Chuck Butcher on February 3, 2008 2:37 PM

Thanks for the link! It's a pleasure to meet you and I'll be stopping by as regularly as I can.

(it's Photoshop :) although I'm mulling over building a Linux box and giving GIMP a try...)

Posted by: Alicia Morgan on February 3, 2008 9:14 PM
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