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      Friday
      Aug242012

      Follow Friday Blogs, August, 24 2012

      This week's selections for Follow Friday Blogs all share two key elements: they voice strong opinions and beliefs, and they remain very civil. It's actually a bit scary to realize how difficult it can sometimes be to find both those qualities in a single blog...

      First up is Honor in Office, an organization founded by Jerrol LeBaron. The organization's goal, according to their subhead is "Putting integrity and honor back into politics." The organization wants us to hold our elected leaders accountable... even for things as numbingly obvious as creating legislation that everyone actually reads before voting on!

      My next selection is the Belief Blog over at CNN, which came to my attention through the Akin brouhaha (which I've written about here). This is one of the few places I've found where you can find every opinion from every viewpoint--and it's always professional presented. A good one-stop source for all things faithful.

      My third site is Spark Sense, from Annabel Park, co-founder of the Coffee Party. Annabel is most interested in preserving our democracy, and she focuses her work on what you and I can do (as opposed to, say Sheldon Adelsen and George Soros) to preserve and encourage true democracy.  Her insights are always worth reading.

      That's it: see you next week... or maybe after Labor Day......

      Michael

      Friday
      Aug172012

      Follow Friday Blogs, August, 17 2012

      It's been a while since I've recommended blogs for you to check out, and I wanted to apologize... I've been busy... ;-)  It certainly isn't because there aren't many, many worthwhile blogs out there, as today's list will attest to....

      First up is community-oriented site called PartyRECON that asks us to RECONceive, RECONnect, and RECONsider. Run by Dan Aronson from the Portland Coffee Party, I was immediately sold on the site when I saw the picture of Lincoln on the home page under the headline "It's time for responsive, responsible government." As yet another site dedicated to civil and logical conversation, it will find me a frequent visitor.

      Next up is Left Coast Voices, a blog from Alon Shalev, the author of The Accidental Activist. His blog has an olionic feel, moving from Fifty Shades of Grey to Paul Ryan in the blink of an eye--although I think the Ryan-with-devil's-horns photo might be a bit over the top....

      And, finally, I came upon an interesting and thoughtful site from Gregory Coffin, aka GDX, a serious and pragmatic constitutionalist with a seemingly libertarian bent.  The writing style is a bit all of the map, but the narratives are very intriguing....

      Thanks for checking out these blogs, and don't forget to read my recent entries as well.

      Michael

      Friday
      Jul272012

      Follow Friday Blogs, July 27, 2012 -- Money In Politics Edition

       

      Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings about the impact of money on our political process.  Since this subject is both timely and a key interest of mine (and of the CoffeePartyUSA, of which I am an Editorial Board member and weekly radio host), I've decided to focus this week's blog recommendations on the issue.

      First up is the site for Rootstrikers, founded by Lawrence Lessig of Harvard University. Rootstrikers calls itself "a network of activists fighting the corrupting influence of money in politics. Lessig and his team have created a vibrant community around this issue, and the site provides a variety of thoughtful and provocative articles.

      Next up is The Money Tale, the blog hosted over at FollowTheMoney.org. This site has an interesting take on the topic, focusing on specific instances where money in politics has impacted specific legislative actions and/or communities, allowing us to see what money came from where, and how it may have been used to influence important decisions.

      Finally this week, I recommend a visit to Maplight, a site that is focused on "revealing money's influence on politics." The site has a variety of areas that cover interest groups, contributions, companies, etc., but the one I found most fascinating was the "Bills in the News" section where you can see the proportion of money spent to either support or oppose a particular position.  While the site isn't really a blog, I was impressed enough with the info provided to list it here as well.

      That's it for this week, except to say that each of these sites has quite a few links to other sites as well, so if this topic is important to you, there are plenty of places to get information.

      Oh, and feel free to check out my recent posting as well!

       

      Saturday
      Jul072012

      Follow Friday Blogs (Day-Late Edition), Saturday, July 7, 2012

      This week I'm only presenting a bit of politics, deferring instead to things that I found particularly interesting or celebrative. The reason for this? I have no idea.  Perhaps it's that I've had a very busy week and felt lazier than normal, or that the country has had a very busy week and I've decided to aim for diversion instead of seriousness.

      Whatever.

      First up is a site that I find hard to describe; I'm short any single word that works, so have decided on the slash motif. Hyperbole and a Half is amusing/diverting/poignant/absurd in roughly equal amounts (though one could argue on doubling the "absurd"). From Allie Brosh, the site's artwork alone is worth the visit.

      Next is The Amendment Gazette, a simple, single, go-to place to see what the citizen movements are doing in the quest for Constitutional Amendments.  Here you'll fine info on the currently popular Move to Amend (aimed at Citizens United), along with the Human Rights Amendment, cogent analysis, and, in an unusual display of balance in today's adversarial climate, a section for rebuttals.  The site is run by Paul Westlake.

      And, finally, twelve minutes and thirteen seconds of pure joy and amazement for any guitar player, or anyone who enjoys guitar virtuousity.  Suggested to me by friend (and Words With Friends opponent) Gary Gertz, check out this video over at Dad's Big Plan: 100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock and Roll). One guy, one take, 100 memorable guitar riffs. 

      Friday
      Jun222012

      Follow Friday Blogs, June 22, 2012

      Today, the first Friday of (official) summer, is also the last day of a heat wave here in New England, one that, for me, has been both literal and metaphorical.

      The metaphorical heat wave happened over at Taki, where my recent article spurred quite a bit of readership--and controversy.  The theme: the need to regain rational, logical political conversation. The responses: both rational and logical and... not so much.

      So, to that end, this week's FFBlogs are aimed at rationality--good writing fueling good discussion in the political arena. Here's hoping you agree...

      First is frameshop, from Jeffrey Feldman, where some really cogent writing suffers only from the rarity of his posts. I particularly like his most recent, Unstoppable."  Take a look at his tweets, too, where his humor surfaces, as in this one: "The only problem with Tucker Carlson is that Tucker Carlson is still Tucker Carlson."

      Next up is Dr. Sanity from Patricia Santy, a board-certified psychiatrist and former NASA flight surgeon.  Her takes on politics and economics (see, for example, her post on SuperMegaHyper Denial) are engaging and literary, with just enough tongue in cheek...but not too much.

      The third recommendation this week is the website of Counter-Currents Publishing, which posts articles and opinion pieces on its home page. I found out about it from a fan of the CoffeePartyUSA FB page and was immediately attracted to the way it provides numerous voices through numerous avenues.

      That's it for this week; as always, check out my latest blog on this site's Home Page.