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July 04, 2004


I once had a question at the top of this blog that asked: What if we had a war and everybody came? It was right before and left there after March 19, 2003. And it seemed particularly relevant when Israel was accused of bombing Sudan and Iran last year. Or was it planning to bomb?

But that situation is here again. That war today is the blogos(phere).

In recent weeks, I've been throwing shit around the blogs - at other people's comments; nothing particularly abusive (not like my nuclear spit at Jay Caruso from last September that I found quite by accident the other day where I called him every name in the book. He deserves most of it, of course, for playing dumb 99 percent of the time, and for doing exactly what he suggests others not do (He does so in the lingua franca of the blogs - snarky). Nevertheless, I cringed at myself.

I've tried to get people to look behind the easy. Nevertheless, I've also had my share of good-natured and bad-natured barbs. I think I'm more witty than most when it comes to words, because I make my living with them (and research and conversation and sifting through information garbed as opinion and opinion garbed as information).

Often the barbs and the insults are the only way to get people to respond and wake up. But since spite and invective is so prevelant in the blogos today, it's also increasingly a good reason to get ignored. It's an easy way to get ignored because it represents unreasonableness. If someone is willing to go that far and so deep into attack mode,you can't expect a reasonable conversation from them.

Now, this type of unreasonableness is easier to take than someone who just keeps on believing, despite evidence to the contrary - not innuendo, not opinions, but hard evidence.

Facts are so easy to ignore once you've got your blood boiling. An unhealthy number of people, I believe, tour the blogs just to get their blood boiling. A part of this equation is also that, once reasonable discussion takes place it can be then put aside - and is easily forgotten, and therefore goes unrewarded.

As an aside, this nature goes to the nature of all media. As I've said before, good journalism, useful journsalism is rarely remembered as journalism - it's remembered as history.

Dean, who does not have a Web site to my knowledge, engaged me in a good - not spirited but good - discussion on whether FDR had misled the country in similar ways to GWB. It didn't center around Bush, it centered around history and FDR.

It took me some little time to research - and, as it turns out I was wrong because I'd missed the Land-Lease Act of 1939. (That exchange was here)

Dean's mistake was in not letting me know that he had replied to my questions. He had to do it at Ricky's site, because, apparently, he was not physically or technically able to comment at my site. He did so and showed the error of my ways on one particular point.

But I didn't remember that discussion, until today and I wondered if he replied and spent some time looking.I didn't think he would, but he did.

That's worth celebrating and acknowledging.

People usually blog (verb), leaving out many pertinent facts. And when presented with those facts, tend to get defensive or completely ignore them.

They lose credibility when they do so - just like everything and everyone else in life.

Anyway, I'm going to find a way to marginalize those sources / blogs who just refuse to get it. I'm going to have to remember those issues in which they are inflexible on.

But many of these bloggers remain useful sources of information and discussion on other subjects. There are certain bloggers that come to mind who get stuck in neutral (IE won't ever get anywhere else) on CERTAIN issues and can't hear anything to dissuade them. But on many others they are valuable, they are flexible.

The phrase "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for everything," has been corrupted. It has come tomean, principle in the face of evidence, inflexibility in the face of open-mindedness and attack in the face of those who disagree, and who become enemies by that simple disagreement.

This is human nature and it is frustrating. This frustrates me. I realize that my part in this is small, though could be greater if I was a full time opinion creator. I'm not, I'm a journalist, who facilities the formation of opinions and knowledge.

Information eventually reaches a much wider audience than opinion, which is why I decry those saying all journalists should admit their biases. No, editors shoud do a better job removing them.

On this Independence Day weekend, all I can continue to celebrate is Freedom and Independence of Thought. And hope for it's shared survival.

So, change your links accordingly. I'm moving permanently to
ThinkPeopleThink.com. It's not ready, but,it won't be until I move there. My life is too full otherwise and I will continue to prioritize it right out of the stratos(phere).