First off, I’d like to thank Skink (aka lizard) for offering me a place to vent a little, and maybe write something of interest. He and I had a good conversation this morning, and will be developing some ideas on where to go from here.
I’d love to continue to share a blog space with him, as when I first met his writings, and later his meat space personage, I recognized someone who was passionate about his writing and desire to get to the thick of things, and not let the political party fishbowl get in his way. Of course, when you chuck bricks at the fishbowl, sometimes the blowback is harsh, if not predictable. Liz has never been shy about rocking the boat, even when it might threaten his livelihood.
My inclination is always to do whatever I can to support the efforts of people to speak truth to power, empower the rebels. Occasionally that may not dovetail with my opinions or understanding of the facts, or world view, but I am willing to defer to the passion of young people motivated by necessity or virtue. I honor those who are willing to go the extra mile to get to the root of the matter, and learn from their efforts and mistakes. I have seen in lizard a willingness to slice through the bullshit and get to the core of the issue — whether it be geopolitics, the national political-corporate syndicate, state and local politics, or community issues… and then to take the time to be a family man and pursue his own personal creative efforts. He is the true “energizer bunny”.
So I am honored to be able to continue our collaboration! We may decide to expand our blogging or change venues and invite some other folks in and try to provide a unique view of politics and policy, the environment, social issues, and culture from the local to the global that no one else in Montana is doing. So stay tuned as we move on from here.
Next off, I’d like to thank those of you that dropped by 4&20 to offer your thoughts and well-wishes, and who have commented over the years, and to those who have emailed , texted and twittered their support. Blogging is a time consuming and often thankless affair, and without readers and commenters it is just self-gratification. Seeing how people respond to new ideas and information always has been my goal, and to learn from those responses. And to those who have written in the past like Duganz and Problem Bear at 4&20 and have contributed to a wider view of the world, thanks!
Jay may have been quoting diminished reader numbers as his raison d’être, but my take on it were that readership numbers correlated with posts: as the number of posts (and bloggers) rose, so did the readership. And as the number of posts (and bloggers) declined, so did the readership. The responsibility for readership decline is lies more on those who have not written (myself included) than those who have. So this is just another glimpse into his CYA approach to blogliness.
Through blogging I get a good glimpse into how others that have different views of the world think and react to material I come across and write about — that helps me keep from getting too comfortable in my own bubble. Being a good ole Montana boy, full of frontier libertarianism, folks like Swede and I have much in common, though politically we can be miles apart. I like to believe that some of the people who I have sparred with over the years would make for good company and conversation over a cup of coffee. I do value genuine conviviality, as opposed to the glad-handing fakeness of politicians and their entourage, or the phoniness of those who desire closeness to the purveyors of political power and patronage as epitomized by Jim Messina or John Podesta and the Messina wannabes like Jay Stevens or Matt Singer.
I have tried to learn to make my blogging more about ideas and conversation than about personalities and individuals. At that I admit to some failure, and have had to resort to my own internal blacklist to not respond to certain individuals, or to some hot-button issues. I like a good fight as much as anyone, but beyond a point it becomes counterproductive. Learning how not to get my buttons pushed in cyberspace has definitely helped to not do so in meatspace. But I do retain the right to waive my goal of being a gentlemanly blogger when it comes to those, like Stevens, who put politics and winning before just about anything else. And I’d like to thank those who over the years have pointed out to me that my toxic commenting really was counterproductive to furthering the conversation.
I’d also like to thank jhwygirl for having let me into 4&20 to write and pursue my thoughts. I hope that she finds what she’s looking for if she returns in ernest to continue her blogging there. She has a great take on issues in Montana, and hopefully democrats won’t stifle that part of her writing! Over the years we have had good friendly relations, and I hope that can continue, even if we end up taking some blogging pokes at each other now that we write from a distance.
As to the professional blogger and carpetbagger, Jay Stevens, I should have known that he’d eventually resurface when the Montana Dem party decided that Liz and I were not going to help them in their electoral efforts. I’ll not be returning to write at 4&20, and no doubt some of you are slobbering in your auto-felatio grandiosity at Jay’s treatment of Liz and I. But with excommunication comes liberty, and the freedom for us to write as we please and not have to look over our shoulders. I bear Jay no ill will, but it is open season on his democratic cheerleading efforts.
I have no doubt that Jay’s moves have been sparked by his and other democrat’s desire to continue to elect democrats, no matter how far to the right they have moved, how anti-union and environment they have become, or how owned by Wall Street their offices and elections are. It only took about 2 minutes of perusing Jay’s professional blogging gig on his “Soapbox” to uncover the following
drivel professional wordage to understand his mindset:
The Unexcitable and Invulnerable Hillary Clinton
I am not excited about Hillary Clinton… And she’s the most qualified candidate… But is there anyone better suited for the job? Is there anyone else who has the knowledge of Washington, D.C. she does? Is there anyone else better able to roll up her sleeves and duke it out with a hostile, potentially rebellious Republican Congress?
And that’s all you need to know about Jay and why he did what he did: making the blogosphere a little safer for dems to try and put Montana on the table for Hillary. I’ll be very grateful to not have to share blogging space with someone who has so transparently revealed himself to be nothing more than a professional democrat shill.
As to me, I have no illusions that blogging is either a suitable replacement for independent journalism, or a viable venue to persuade individuals about political candidacies. It is a great venue for people to share and discuss the limitless quantity of information available on the internet or debate policy. For me, blogging ultimately is about sharing what I have read and learned, occasionally seasoned with some personal experience, and discussing it with others — whether or not they share my opinion.
If I’m not learning something new, blowing holes in old and stale ideas, or advocating for the multitude of issues and policies I find important, then it’s really not worth me writing about. At heart I’m a policy guy and an activist, which always runs me up the wrong side of politicians and the law. I don’t care who the politician is, if they have bad policy stances, I’m willing to endure the consequences of pointing that out.
Calling out Jon Tester for his post-electoral handling of his promises to Paul Richards in 2006, and labeling his actions as “lies” probably has garnered me more hatred blogging than anything else I’ve written about. His rider on wolf management was just one of the heinous actions he has taken. His Logging Bill is another. His acceptance of
bribes campaign contributions from Wall Street during the FinReg legislative runup while on the Senate Banking Committee is another example of his corruption that is emblematic of everything that is wrong with modern [democrat] electoral politics.
Attacking our country’s efforts to expand and consolidate it’s global hegemony also has resulted in significant blowback, including contributing to the blacklisting of 4&20 by many other sites. I never knew that McCarthyism was still so alive and thriving among democrats, or that trying to understand the politics, culture and history of a country like Russia or Germany could garner one such ostracism. If anything, it has revealed how small-minded and petty democrats have become; how ingrained in the propaganda emanating from the White House and Pentagon — as trumpeted by vestiges of a once proud print industry — they have become.
I wonder how long the purification will take until 4&20 is sanitized enough to be returned to blogrolls on democrat sites? Anybody want to place bets on when MT Cowgirl, Flathead Memo and Intelligent Discontent re-list 4&20? Funny that right-wing sites were closer ideologically to democrat blogsites than 4&20 under Liz and I, and were allowed continued advertising on their blogrolls!
Those sorts of actions by others is very telling, in that it underscores the importance of what we have written about. If we were far out of bounds of democrat thought, yet harmless and irrelevant, we would have just been ignored. That we have garnered the reactions that we have is very gratifying.
And that about says it for now. Till later… keep your minds open, and your fingers active!
[/long winded ramble]