One of the great things about blogging in this particular day and age is that even if you only very rarely write about a particular subject, it’s still completely practical to keep a free blog where you publish your only very occasional pieces about , say, politics. Shhhhh. Please don’t tell. But this going on 50 something guy who mostly tries not to talk about politics online….actually has a (very rarely updated) blog where he tries to talk about politics. With all of the respectfulness and intellectual fairness he tries to bring to everything he writes about, including himself. I’m not in fact terrified that some of my conservative friends might click through. (Honestly there are like a total of five articles on there and while all of them are about politics…they are also all rather personal in the same way that my entries on this blog are always an essayish combination of journal and topical post. If you click on any of my categories you will find an array of posts with genuinely useful information about all of the subjects in my categories.
CapitaL eLs was created largely in order to have a place to post something I wrote for some contest on Blog Catalog, a site I used to hang out on a lot, and where I met a number of wonderful people who continue to be Facebook friends, indeed Facebook friends whom I genuinely value for the glimpses into their worlds and interests that they share with me online. Facebook is a great place to chat with people whom you like and respect, even if you only chat with them occasionally. I’ve come to realize that I don’t actually want to know who subscribes to my Facebook stream. I generally don’t subscribe to any individual streams if we are not Facebook friends. And I have liked a thousand pages or so, but I am quick to unlike if I find a page is cluttering or otherwise not adding value to my Facebook stream.
And one of the great things about having a personal blog is that it can be a good place to promo and link, even though only in this one post to my largely neglected political blog. where it just so happens that I just now published a new post, a kind of riff across a Washington Post column about Obama and the “Youth Vote”. If you choose to take a look, that would be great and if you don’t want to hear me riffing about the coming (and not a day too soon) US Presidential election, don’t look. You’re welcome to subscribe or comment on any of the posts. And to a very real extent I am the same me I am here when I am over there. This is the only Google AdSense blog I still have. (I am one of the zillions of people who were so excited about AdSense, until after years they have accumulated 28 dollars in earnings and wonder if they will ever reach the one hundred dollar earnings threshold to actually be able to cash in on this “blog income”, earned over a number of sites over all these many years. There’s a lesson in here for new bloggers, but I can’t quite hashtag it, which makes This post hard to promote 🙂
So I’ve been reading a book suggested by my buddy Wayne Hurlbert, The Nine Nations of North America by Joel Garreau. It’s an old title, published back in 1981 (the year before I graduated from high school). Thinking about it, I suppose most of Garreau’s theories about the nine competing schools of influence on the North American continent continue to have some relevance, the fact that they are largely argued for and portrayed in terms of the current events of the late 1970’s to early 1980’s gives this volume a very time warp kind of quality. It is not available for sale, but click on the map image for a library copy. Many years ago I read Garreau’s later book Edge City about the dynamic communities that were springing up at major freeway intersections surrounding many American and European cities in the 1990’s.
I find Garreau’s blend of geography and sociology quite interesting. I honestly find most all sports quite dull. I never had even a moments interest in football and found that I lacked both skill and interest for most every other sport out there, although I did enjoy league bowling on a couple of different occasions in my life. What I liked about bowling is that each player got a handicap so you were mostly most of the time competing with your own past performance rather than with the other players. Religion, by contrast, is a subject much nearer to me. I was mostly raised in the United Methodist Church (my mother’s faith). I went to a Catholic high school however, run by the Jesuits– an order noted for their scholarship and intellectual rigor. Academically, it was a great place to be. Socially, not so much so. Over the years of my life I’ve drifted away from organized religion, although as I’ve gotten older I’ve found that I do in fact have a deeply abiding faith in God. I believe that God is love.
I tend to care a bit too much about politics. To take it all a bit too seriously. If I let myself I can get hard boiling mad just reading about some bit of political shenanigans taking place somewhere or another. (At any given moment one of the few things one can count on is that some politician somewhere is behaving Very badly right now.) Getting angry, I long ago realized, mostly hurts the person who gets angry. (Of course to the extent that being angry encourages one to do the real work of changing the situation that offended you, it can be a genuinely useful force. But most of us just rage and sputter and do no good at all for anyone.) I continue to try hard not to say much of anything about my politics on this blog, and ask that you try to do the same. And if every now and then I or you just can’t help it, I ask everyone else to please just bear with us. And finally today my thanks to Tim Berkesch who suggested today’s words.
I screwed up this week. When I started doing a lot of socializing, I made a conscious decision Not to get into discussions about politics. And for quite a long stretch I managed that quite well. It’s not that I never express any political opinions, so much as that I try hard mostly to talk about other things.
I have strong political opinions. I think most people do. But in my experience all too often when people talk about political things online, it all too often descends from basic disagreement to name-calling to flame war. I am a veteran of many flame wars. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to do flames anymore. In my experience flame wars ruin threads for most users and if a site, a group or a forum suffers from repeated and persistent flame wars, it will almost certainly lose users until it becomes no longer viable. And in all honesty, I have only very rarely seen anyone’s mind changed about a political issue in an online debate.
There was a time when my online social life revolved around dating sites for gay men. But since bonding with my partner, those sites really bored me. I have been involved in various online political and blogging related groups (and have seen many formerly great hangouts flame warred away. So I try not to get into political discussions. It helps that I often hang out with people from other countries, who generally are not interested in getting into discussions of US politics. But I have many friends here in the US too, and being human I slipped up and got into the kind of discussion that I really try to avoid getting into. I’m happy to discuss most anything, but I’d really appreciate it if we DON’T talk about politics.
It really just makes me want to SCREAM. For 8 years when the Demo’s were a minority party they were very consistently shit upon by Repthuglicans who (irrespective of the fact that President Junior was appointed by by the Supremes and was NEVER in fact elected by the people) and they pretty much just laid there and took it, almost never filibustering or otherwise going all out to try to impeded the R’s at every possible turn.
So Obama is elected with a clear mandate and the damned Dems spent their critical first year foolishly seeking bi-partisanship with R’s who have been united to thwart them at every turn. Hey Nancy and Harry, STOP BEING NICE AND PLAY HARDBALL for a change. You were elected to create change and get things done and it just aint happenin for us folks down here at the bottom of the line.
It was a huge mistake, Nancy, not to begin the current two year session of Congress with a thorough criminal investigation of all the Bushit the R’s pulled off during their spectacularly awful eight years. That opportunity has passed, most likely, and now the people of small towns in Massachusetts (who Already Have for themselves the benefits health care reform was to bring to the rest of the country) have thrown a monkey wrench into Harry’s tortuously obtained bad compromise. (Cornhusker kickback, Ben?)
First things FIRST, eliminate the super-majority requirement to end filibusters. The first piece of legislation to pass in the Senate is the sensible proposal to change it so that while breaking a filibuster on a first vote requires 60 votes, after two days a second vote can pass with 57, after two more days 55, etc. It is ridiculous and inexcusable that a determined minority representing a small number of people can endlessly thwart the ability of the elected representatives of the majority of our population to get anything done.
Then, start over on health care and write a VERY partisan bill that can win the support of 50 Senators and phuque the Repthuglicans. If you don’t, it’s a sure bet that Demo’s won’t continue to be a majority in 2011.
I have re-gained the number three spot in Books on entrecard and my traffic and drops from there are back up nicely, thankyewverymuch. Ron is channel surfing and landed on the DNC for a few minutes. Personally, I am very glad Not to be in that loud crowded hall. And politicsNPR is twittering the vote state by state so I am following it as I browse and compose. I find myself hoping that now having been able to go ahead and vote for her at the convention, Hillary’s most die hard supporters will go on to support Obama. (Was appalled to read the other day that some of them are announcing they will support McLame rather than vote for Obama.) Mostly, though I am managing to just ignore politics these days.
I need to do another round of power dropping today and again tomorrow to firm up my hold on the number three spot. Then Friday-Saturday-Sunday I am back to work. We are blessedly closed so Monday is a paid day off, Yay! Bad news is after staying up all night Monday and then staying up all day yesterday I slept Forever and did not get up until one something this afternoon. I fear I will _never_ get myself back on a regular sleep schedule. Here’s hoping your hump day Wednesday is going well and I will hopefully be back again tomorrow just to say hey.