Monday, December 11, 2006

Virginia Blog Carnival LXIV (Yes, That's 64, Can You Believe It?)

We've been doing this for one and one quarter years now. That's 64 Carnivals. Well, 64 weeks anyway, I think there were one or two Holiday weeks when it's been skipped.
In the final weeks before Christmas we have quite a few posts submitted to Virginia Blog Carnival LXIV.

Let's start with a theme that I've been thinking quite a bit about lately, ethics in the Virginia Blog community. Conaway, who is justifiably proud of being named President of the 2006 class of the Sorensen Institute’s Political Leaders Fellows leads with this;
The speeches are done, the sessions have concluded, and now we have our lapel pins, certificates, and secret handshakes. It was a fascinating experience, traveling all over Virginia to learn about different conceptions and misconceptions of leadership, the myriad of issues facing our diverse communities, and meeting with key players in the Commonwealth's government and politics.
He goes on to discuss his "Society of Bloggers" idea and how difficult it is to remain true to such a concept. Read the entire article here.
As one who beats the drums in the blogosphere for the "Society of Bloggers" idea, I am well aware that I have fallen short and will continue to fall short of the very notions of ethics that I an others are promoting. As one who laments some of the seedier elements of media & political activism, I am also guilty of countenancing and sometimes participating in the very actions that I criticize. While it may make me a hypocrite on occasion, it also makes me quite human.
Thanks Conaway, and congratulations to you and all of your classmates. All I ask is that you keep an eye on my late night posts as you did once before. After all, friends don't let friends blog drunk.

Two more somewhat related posts this week are from Hampton Roads. First, Vivian J. Paige touches on a subject that leads to many, if not most of the ad hominem attacks found in the blog community, truthiness.
Truthiness, as opposed to truth, requires a suspension of logic, an ignoring of the facts. It is what we would like things to be, as opposed to the way they are.
From the other side of the argument for a "kinder and gentler" community we have The Squeaky Wheel.
Also I need to return to a place where people understand that I am not here to kiss anyone's ass. Unlike so many bloggers around here, I am not trying to run for office, get a job working in politics, start some political group or be in charge of something to boost my ego. Also I am not going to adhere to some mysterious, non-existant, unspoken blog rule that says everyone has to be nice to everyone all of the time.
Squeaky, I don't think your brand of caustic satire is actually what Conaway has in mind in his critical look at blogging. Sure, you can be brutally satirical, but I've never read a personal attack from your keyboard. And you always attempt to remain true to the concept of "truth vs. truthiness". Instead, I think he means the type of stuff Ward is referring to in his Carnival contribution.

Speaking of Squeaky, his compadre Jim at Bearing Drift e-mailed the ODBA just a few nights ago with a crisis. It seems his blog host had hosed his entire blog, or something like that. He also expressed his dissatisfaction with his current website designer, E-webscapes.

Well buck up there Jim, there just happen to be two Virginia bloggers who submitted articles to the Carnival this week on just that subject. And it appears to me that both actually design websites, if not for a living, at least as an avocation. First from somewhere in the Appalachians, via the Cascades, comes High Desert Wanderer. He is a former cowboy, turned graphics designer. Within the past week he has examined the design of both Michelle Malkin's Hot Air and Markos Moulitsas' Daily Kos. The two critiques are; Malkin's here, and Kos' here.

Our next Virginia website designer is Douglas T. Working for a University in SWVA while also creating some nice website designs. In his latest post he showcases a site he's designed for Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Hmm, Douglas has a couple of degrees from Washington State University, High Desert Wanderer mentions homesickness for the Cascades in an earlier post. The Cascades are in Washington State (and Oregon). HDW says he's in the Appalachians now, and Douglas T cites his career at a University in SWVA. Could they both be the same guy? At any rate, Jim, one of these guys may be just what you are looking for.

While we are out here in SWVA let's turn to One Wise Girl, Kilo's blog parner at Spark It Up! The Girl has been posting on the subject of Christmas traditions, especially traditions related to food. So far there have been four, with number two almost certain to make it into my oven before the 25th. Check them all out here. Christmas Traditions Part One, Part Two, Part Three.
& Part four.

Part four has a nice video of the modern Christmas song, "Mary Did You Know?". I remember growing up in the hills around Bassett, it never seemed like Christmas until I heard one particular Christmas song. That song was "Christmas Time's A Coming", written by Tex Logan and originally recorded by Bill Monroe. The version I remember best was from Don Reno and Red Smiley, who had a morning show on WSLS Channel 10 in Roanoke when I was a kid. If anyone has a copy of that, please send it to me. I'll be forever grateful. In lieu of that one, listen to what I consider to be the next best version.

A couple of other good Christmas themed posts from the past week; The Ward View, Ms. Elenaeous in Roanoke and this little shopping tip from Roci.

Changing subjects now I want to point out that just a few days ago was Pearl Harbor Day. A few days before that I mentioned to someone here at work that Pearl Harbor Day was coming up. Someone else asked, "What is Pearl Harbor Day?". I suppose that can be expected, it was, after all, 65 years ago that our Naval base in Hawaii was attacked. The Japanese and the Germans are both our allies now, and have been all of my life. Some people either have no sense of history, or no real concern for it, so things like that lose their importance to those folks.

Kilo had a great Pearl Harbor Day post, and I showed it to the guy who had no idea what Doug and I had been discussing a few days earlier. I only hope that in 65 years the state of our Union will such that someone will be able to ask, "What was 9/11?". Unfortunately, if the Iraq Study Group's recommendations are followed to the letter, I don't think we'll ever see the day that question can reasonably be asked. If the pressure is removed from Al Qaeda in Iraq now, we'll eventually have to return to the region, and quite possibly be forced to leave it in the condition Japan found itself one August day in 1945. As Kat relates in this article, in this war against Islamic fundamentalism we must remain true to our God and our beliefs.
"Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world."

I belong to the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, who will one day cast this satanic "god" into the eternal pit of fire - and he won't need to exert the least amount of effort to do so.

My Lord and Savior is the Creator of all, the Lord God Almighty, the Lord my Provider, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.

Allah? ***pfft!*** A little Johnny-Come-Lately upstart with delusions of grandeur.
Michael Oliver, the Dogwood Pundit, follows up with a notice and some advice for those Islamic Fundamentalists in his article titled "The Worlds Biggest Scandal, Treatment Of Women In The Third World".
The emancipation of women, in all ways, is the greatest achievement of the West, and I believe, one of the reasons the West grew prosperous. The virtual enslavement and abuse of girls and women all but ensures that the Third World, especially in the arc that runs from the Muslim world to Sub-Saharan Africa, will remain mired in backwardness and poverty until something is done about it.
Also last week Kilo returned to the Sago Mine disaster, one of many through the years in that area of the Commonwealth. I miss mining, I truly do, but I do not miss going underground. I've always been one to throw myself completely at a project, especially at work. I'll have to take a deep look inside to see if I'm at risk of going beyond the "Golden Mean", as described by John Wesley at Pick The Brain.

Now to round out this week's Carnival, I have five more articles of note;
  • Equality Loudoun on Reason.
  • Doug, at Below the Beltway applauds BB&T's stance on Eminent Domain.
  • Leslie Carbone, who could write about beating rugs with a baseball bat and make it interesting, explains how Willis Haviland Carrier's invention has caused us so much trouble.
  • Fact of the Matter, announces the premier of "Virginia Time Travel", a new television show he's been involved with. The show will air new episodes every month on the fourth week of the month: Tuesday 600 am, Thursday 530 pm, and Friday 930 pm on Channel 10 (Cox Cable in Fairfax).
  • And finally, a blog that is quickly climbing my chart of favorites, John Maxfield's "Journal of the Common Man". Read his recent comparison between "then" and "now", and realize how true it is.
That's all Folks. Thanks so much for sticking with me this far down what has become a rather long post. Be sure to check j's notes next week for the 65th Virginia Blog Carnival.

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