January 14, 2005
In the depths of winter, while few are venturing too far from hearth and home, a host of hot “blogs” can keep the intellectual fires burning. They have become the vehicle of choice for those who want to reach out with their ideas but, until now, had no “mainstream” outlets.
“Blog” is short for “Web Log.” The official definition reads, “Blogs are frequent chronological publications of personal thoughts and web links.” They range from personal diaries to political and scientific commentary.
The best blogging in the world is done on the right side of the political spectrum. A raft of witty and irreverent free market types use blogs to spread freedom and liberty. Most of these folks are from the “libertarian” wing of the conservative world and expound on behalf of political, personal and economic liberty. Not only are they often quite funny, a few bloggers have become media stars because of their track record in challenging the “Mainstream Media,” or MSM.
Take Power Line, located at www.powerlineblog.com. Voted “Best Blog of 2004” by Time magazine, this Minnesota-based web mag single-handedly broke the “fake memo” story that ended the career of famed CBS news anchorman, Dan Rather. Subject matter at Power Line runs the gamut from politics to the war in Iraq to English soccer , as well as the running feud they are having with ultra-liberal newspapers in Minnesota. This top blog is run by three Minneapolis lawyers, nicknamed Hindrocket, Trunk and Deacon, and is a must-read for me every day.
Another Minnesota-based blog is Fraters Libertas. Located at www.fraterslibertas.com, this site takes it upon itself to rip to shreds the pretensions of the “progressive” elements of North American society. And it has great fun doing so.
These blogs are becoming real players in the policy game. Lynne Cheney, wife of US Vice-President Dick Cheney, follows Fraters Libertas on a daily basis, as do many others in the political and policy world. Hugh Hewitt, a TV and radio personality, and himself a blogger (www.hughhewitt.com), has written a best-selling book entitled “Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation.” It details the rise and the influence of the political blogger. I like his use of the term “reformation” as in Martin Luther’s revolution of the same name. We are truly in an information revolution.
Blogs are also great outlets for those marginalized by their agencies or departments. My favourite in this category is The Diplomad (www.diplomadic.blogspot.com) which is home to the more “conservative” elements in the U.S. State Department. The Diplomads most certainly do not use diplomatic language when describing the antics of the United Nations and other politically correct international bodies. Their recent posts on the utter uselessness of the U.N. in tsunami relief efforts would leave one in stitches if the topic weren’t so deadly serious.
Blogs have become a new and important source of alternate information. For rural communities, often held back by the lack of information, blogs will become increasingly important. Blogs give us what Paul Harvey called “the rest of the news.” Get thee blogging!
Robert Sopuck, Senior Fellow
is a modern environmentalst whose interests include solving environmental problems without reducing human freedom. He is a natural resource policy consultant with a special interest in rural issues who lives and works at Lake Audy, Manitoba. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Manitoba and Masters from Cornell University. His first career was in fisheries management. He later coordinated the sustainable development initiative for the province of Manitoba and was on the Canadian delegation to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He was Manitoba's observer on the Board of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. In October 2007 he was appointed to the federal government's National Round Table on the Environment and Economy.