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      Follow Friday Blogs, November 30, 2012

      It's time again for my periodic attempt to provide you with something to read other than my own stuff, on the assumption that there are people out there who have things to say that are both a) more interesting than my posts and b) better written.

      My first recommendation this week is The New Moderate, from Rick Bayan, who created the site "as a community for centrist thinkers who are fed up with extremist dogma… fed up with feeling excluded from the national debates on politics, culture and religion… fed up with being fed up!" Couldn't agree more. "We moderates have traditionally been a reticent bunch," he writes, "too mild-mannered and apathetic to jump into the political fray." He aims to change that, and I fully support his efforts.

      Up next is First Things, an online magazine published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life whose purpose is to "advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society." The site has both original material and curated posts from other sites. Filled with thoughtful articles written from a conservative perspective, the site has a wealth of excellent writers, and is well worth some of your time.

      Finally this week, I offer you Bipartisanshipnow, a blog from Tony Franco, Jr. who asks the question: "How come every time a politician runs for office, part of their stump speech is around breaking the log jam in Washington and partnering with the other side of the aisle to eliminate the partisan bickering that impedes any progress in Congress? They arrive with a spirit of bipartisanship but then very quickly their idea of bipartisanship changes." Good question, and Tony has some strong (and interesting ideas) about it...

      Of course, I want you to read my own stuff, too... Here are two recent posts, one on taxes, and one on compromise...


      Follow Friday Blogs, November 2, 2012


      This week, Follow Friday Blogs notes how just about everyone and everything is wrapped up in this election. We're only a couple of days away, and it seems like certain blogs that rarely (if ever) deal in politics have chosen to dip literary toes into those murky waters.  So this week I encourage you to not only visit these recommended blogs, but to spend a little time there reading some of the other diverse (and generally excellent) essays.

      I start this week with Carter Library, from Teri Carter, an essayist and short story writer raised in Missouri and now living in northern California.  I ran across her most recent posting  comparing the attack on her political leanings with the same kind of bullying she remembers from the 4th grade. What I found interesting is her "what I could have said" inner dialogue, one that I've had with myself more than once... (BTW:  Not sure if Ms. Carter is on Twitter, so thanks to @BonsaiFan1 for guiding me to this blog.)

      My next recommendation is Think About Life from Danise Codekas.  Her paean to Denver ("Denver and Sisyphus") is exquisite, as is her "Stymphalian Birds: A Reminder" (where she blends so many topical and political subjects into one posting that all I could do was relax, sit back and let it happen....).  I also had to go look up Stymphalian Birds... and I thought I was rather well-versed in mythology....

      Last up this week is the site for the Forward Institute, "a non-partisan, non-profit progressive think tank for public policy issues in Wisconsin. The Institute combines original, government, and academic research with original message and communication methods to educate and inform the public on critical progressive policies."  While I agree with only some of what I've read here (c.f. "progressive republican), I've found the entries thoughtful, carefully written, and always ready to challenge preconceived notions.

      That's it.  Everyone take a deep breath, and will visit again after the elections.  And don't forget to check out my most recent post, here.




      Follow Friday Blogs, October 19, 2012

      Three new blogs this week, with an emphasis on detailed, analytical essays...

      First up is The Imaginative Conservative, a site "for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic..." Here you'll see discussions and analyses that harken back to the great conservative traditions of Kirk, Burke, Nisbet, and Dawson. No casual visit, this, but worth the time.

      Next up is the blog for Selling U.S. Out, a book written by J.R. Martin. Martin's site combines news and opinion, and recent entries include commentary on the recent IMF warnings and the debt/trade balance red zone we now find ourselves in. There are also links to excerpts from his book, reviews, etc.

      Finally, I encourage you to visit The Pacific Bull Moose, and not just because they recently had kind things to say about The Coffee Party (of which I'm a board member).  This is one of the few places I've seen completely dedicated to the kind of Republican thinking I so identify with. I love their concept of "the radical center."


      Follow Friday Blogs, September 22, 2012


      This week's #FollowFriday blogs follow my more traditional sensibilities. I offer political opinion from a few different perspectives.

      First up is The Political Garbage Chute, which dubs itself "a Politcalocalypse," a largely unprounceable portmanteau, the meaning of which is nevertheless clear.  I was attracted to the site because of this entry on the possible death of the GOP, an opinion which in many ways mirrors my own.

      Up next we go across the water for The Raccoon Arms (an alternate but still correct spelling, by the way, so please don't send nasty emails...). The site comes from Anna Raccoon (otherwise known as Susanne Cameron-Blackie), sometimes "aided and abetted" by others. There is a ton of interesting stuff here, but I have to admit that I was first drawn to the political poetry section.  You MUST check out the lyrics for Whine On, You Crazy Diamond!

      Finally this week is Plunderbund, founded by Eric Vessels and introduced to me by "crew member" Lauren Michelle Kinsey.  It's "all politics" and "all Ohio."  That's interesting right around now because, well... can you say "swing state?" (Actually, there's a fair bit of national politics as well.) The stuff here is carefully and thoughtfully written.  Plus, how can you resist a title like "Money Boo Boo lands Ohio Republicans in deep Mitt?"

      And, as always, please check out my latest post, here.  This week, I apologized to all my readers....



      Follow Friday Blogs, September 15, 2012

      While #FFBlogs are

      becoming occasional rather than a rigorous weekly ritual, I do still keep an eye out for the interesting, thoughtful, provocative, and--sometimes--strange in an attempt to share them with you every now

      and then.  So here I am back with three new sites worth a few minutes of your time.

      First up is A Plain Blog About Politics from Jonathan Bernstein. Jonathan is "a political scientist blogging about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections."  He

      provides straightforward analysis largely free of spin, and takes the time to look at the always-present gray areas inside every issue. I particularly like his Yoda-voiced reminder to "read stuff, you should."

      Next up is DC Dispatches, a combination of blog and re-blog from Philip H., an oceanographer from W'ton D.C. (Full disclosure: my blog is on his "The Blogs I Like" list, so I'm a little biased....)  As a scientist, he provides a fair bit of conversation on the intersection between science and politics, a subject I find important as well.

      Finally this week... if you have a world of time and a wide interest in all things politics, you might check out the political forum over at The Hornet Zone.  A traditional forum site, it's true, but I've found that it seems to attract a thoughtful crowd, and seems short on much of the attack-and-spin rhetoric I find in many other places.

      Enjoy!  See you in a couple of weeks!

      (And, as always, check out my latest posts here.)