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      Friday
      May112012

      Follow Friday Blogs, May 11, 2012

      This week the featured blogs come from left, right, and center...

      From the left comes Street Justice, a well-written site from Shelly Bernal. Shelly covers campaign finance issues, banking, the judicial system, and general politics in an interesting and thoughtful way. She wants us to get a little angry about what's happening, and then work in civil and meaningful ways to change things (though she definitely slips into snark sometimes, as with her reference to NY AG Eric Schneiderman as an "invertebrate"). While we don't agree on all the fiscal issues, we certainly agree on many of the social ones.  Well worth visiting and re-visiting.

      From the right comes Irish Central's "From the Right," a blog authored by Ed Farnan who describes himself as "an American with Irish roots living in California. Took an interest in politics when politics took an interest in me." While I occasionally find his entries mimicking the typical right-sided talking points (they're very good at socializing the sound bites), when he diverts his attention inward rather than outward, his thoughts are often insightful and respectful, as with his brief review of (and argument for) Mitt Romney.

      And from the center comes The Hankster, Nancy Hanks, who runs a blog that she describes as "A daily news feed of, by and for Independents across America."  She provides a nice aggregation of news relevant to independent voters, including the push for open primaries, and she peppers it with wonderful images--the one of the NYC Subway (with map) made me a bit homesick...

      And don't forget the upcoming launch of my new internet radio show, The Middle Ground, premiering Tuesday May 29 at 8 PM EST on the Coffee Party USA Network!

      Friday
      May042012

      Follow Friday Blogs, May 4, 2012

      An eclectic collection this week, fellow travelers...and a question. Do you have a blog you'd like me to profile?  If so, drop me a COMMENT and I'll take a look. If it fits what I generally enjoy (and that's a wide, wide net), I'll happiy promote it to the thousands who follow me each week.

      This week I'm starting with Free Radical USA (which wins my award from best-named blog of the month, by the way). The site comes to us from Akira Kitty, and has an interesting blend of the personal and political.  I like the way the author weaves her own story into her political views, making her opinions readable and touching.  (I do wish, though, she would blog a bit more frequently.)

      I've spent quite a bit of time recently over at Political Fiber, a Kansas-centric political site that seems to cover a broad spectrum of topics and opinions.  The site fascinates me largely because I've read Thomas Frank's What's The Matter With Kansas; Kansas pulls me like a midwestern tornado pulls Dorothy...

      The third site this week is different. In fact, I debated whether I should write about it at all.  However, given that my latest tirades have been about Fake Republicans, I thought it important to show it to you.  Conservative Byte is without a doubt one of the most vile, reprehensible, racist, conspiracist, and hateful sites I've ever seen.  Take a look--particularly if you're a moderate Republican.  Much of the left lumps us together with people who think like this, and it's up to us to let them know we're NOT like those who write these things--and, astonishingly, the nearly 7500 who "like" it.

      And, once again, if you have a blog you'd like me to profile, drop me a COMMENT, below.

      Friday
      Apr272012

      Follow Friday Blogs, April 27, 2012

      Two blogs to share this week, one amusing and one thoughtful...

      First up is Free Wood Post, a site that offers "news that's almost reliable." In the tradition of The Onion, it offers such articles as "Switzerland is a little bitch," and "Bush now just lounging around the house playing lots of Risk."  Always good for a laugh.  (Definitely check out the latest polls that shows that Americans are tired of useless polls!)

      Next up is a blog from former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer. I was fortunate enough to meet Tom a few times when I worked for TR--he visited my software team in Israel when I was there--and always found him easy to be around (not all CEOs are) and incredibly intelligent.  His blog is a mix of everything he cares about and often touches on politics, both domestic and global. In particular, I recommend his post entitled "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

      Friday
      Apr202012

      Follow Friday Blogs, April 20, 2012

      My recent involvement with Coffee Party USA and Coffee Party Conservatives has again focused my thinking on the ways in which we can have balanced conversations and how we can recognize when conversations are veering off in irresponsible and polarizing directions. This week I want to share three blogs that I believe have important things to say about this message.

      First is Stop Polarizing Talk, a site founded on the work of linguist Kathryn Ruud, whose paper, "Liberal Parasites and other Creepers: Rush Limbaugh, Ken Hamblin, and the Discursive Construction of Group Identies," is a must-read for anyone interested in how talk radio has manifest as political propaganda. On the site you can see full-length videos of her work; highly recommended.

      Next up is The Cynical Times, which calls itself an "online news community for middle-class Americans" that is "nonprofit, nonpartisan and nondenominational."  Interested in the voices of people (not corporations, and certainly not money), the site offers a number of stories on a number of topics. There's often some snark ("Breitbart Takes a Dirt Nap"), and sometimes it slips into cruelty--the comments about Whitney Houston seemed a bit over the line to me--but, for the most part, the site sticks to its credo: "Our editorial position champions the greater good of middle-class Americans and places their collective long-term interests ahead of partisan politics, for-profit companies and industries, organized religion, and all other income groups."

      My third recommendation this week is the site for The David Pakman Show, a radio show that I stumbled across accidentally when looking up some new information on Rush Limbaugh's recent Fluke-up. (Yes, I know. I've used that joke too many times. But it still amuses me, and it's my blog, after all...). Pakman writes a monthly column, but more interesting are the clips from his shows, available as videos and as podcasts. (By the way: David, if you're listening? I'd be a great guest...)

      Friday
      Apr132012

      Follow Friday Blogs, April 13, 2012

       

      This week's edition of Follow Friday Blogs is a bit different...

      Recently, I was invited to appear on two different radio programs sponsored by Coffee Party USA. As I always do, I explored the organization before agreeing to do the shows, and I found that their mission is very much in line with my own aims, both for writing Chasing Glenn Beck and, subsequently, for my own blogging.

      The following is the group's simple and precise Vision Statement:

      Coffee Party USA envisions a nation of diverse communities sharing a culture of informed public engagement where our sacred right to vote is the only currency of our democracy.

      As a follow on to my appearances, I had discussions with Eric Byler, award-winning film maker and current President of the Coffee Party Board of Directors.  I was encouraged by Eric's desire to broaden the group's mission and to include conservative and moderate viewpoints within the group's fast-growing platform. Given that my own interest is in promoting what I call the "consiberal" view of fiscal conservatism and social moderation, and that I wish to do so without spin, rhetoric or political marketing, the group seemed like a good fit for me.

      As of this week, I'm proud to be one of those involved in promoting and maintaining the Coffee Party Conservatives website on Scoop.it. Along with several other curators, I'm committed to providing a balanced and interesting take on the issues of the day, from the moderate and conservative points of view.

      I invite you to take a look at the site, offer comments, and suggest items for the page. And if you, too, are a moderate or conservative looking for some true balance and civility in political discourse, you may want to consider joining Coffee Party USA.

      You can also visit the main Coffee Party page and the FB Page, and you can follow the Coffee Party on Twitter (@coffeepartyusa). For info on other Coffee Party sites, visit the social media page.

      I'm looking forward to my participation in this new effort... and yours!

      Michael

       

      This week's edition of Follow Friday Blogs is a bit different...

      Recently, I was invited to appear on two different radio programs sponsored

      by Coffee Party USA. As I always do, I explored the organization before

      agreeing, and found that their mission is very much in line with my own

      objectives in, first, writing Chasing Glenn Beck and, subsequently,

      maintaining my own blog.

      The following is the group's simple and precise Vision Statement:

      Coffee Party USA envisions a nation of diverse communities sharing a culture

      of informed public engagement where our sacred right to vote is the only

      currency of our democracy.

      As a follow on to my appearances, I had discussions with Eric Byler, award-

      winning film maker and current President of the Coffee Party Board of

      Directors.  I was encouraged by Eric's desire to broaden the groups mission

      and to include conservative and moderate viewpoints within the greater

      vision. Given that my own interest is in promoting what I call the

      "consiberal" view of fiscal conservatism and social moderation, and that I

      wish to do so without spin, rhetoric or political marketing, the group

      seemed like a good fit for me.

      As of this week, I'm now one of those responsible for the Coffee Party

      Conservatives website on Scoop.it. Along with several other curators, I'm

      committed to providing a balanced and interesting take on the issues of the

      day, from the moderate and conservative points of view.

      I invite you to take a look at the site, offer comments, suggest items for

      the page. And if you, too, are a moderate or conservative person looking for

      some true balance and civility in political discourse, you may want to

      consider joining Coffee Party USA

      Here's a list of some of the Coffee Party pages:

      Coffee Party News
      Coffee Party Conservatives
      Coffee Party Feminists
      Coffee Party Equality
      Coffee Party Science
      Coffee Party Blog

      You can also visit the main Coffee Party page and the FB Page, and you can

      follow the Coffee Party on Twitter.