Category Archives: Blogging

My 2012 blog of the year

My vote for favorite blog of 2012 is Legal Insurrection, created by William Jacobson, law professor at Cornell Law School.

I’ve been reading this blog for several years, but 2012 seemed a break-out year with the expansion into College Insurrection, additional contributors, and the massive effort  Prof. Jacobson made to cover election news, especially Elizabeth Warren’s senate race in Massachusetts.  Hey, it’s where I go to access Amazon–my (very) small way of helping to pay my way.

Check it out.

Manolo: Meanwhile, in the dystopian future…

Because no one is like the Manolo:
Madonna at half-time (Reuters)

The Empress Ming the Merciless prepares to give birth to the new age of despotism!

Indeed, the Manolo is only half joking, for as the more he watched the Madonna-tacular show of the halftime, the more he was struck by the unshakeable impression that this was the sort of Nuremberg Rally for the new age of crass narcissism aborning.

Beginning with its imperial fanfare and militaristic pomp, progressing through the forced adoration of the Glorious Leader (L-U-V Madonna! L-U-V Madonna!), and culminating in her apotheosis as the goddess and chief priestess of her own cult of personality, Madonna was urging on us nothing less than her hegemonistic vision of the Madonna-based future….

Check it out, and add Manolo to whatever blogroll you have.


Okay, this one’s for Technorati: MUGGMYAMMX4G

Hope that works.

Frederica Mathewes-Green: From pro-choice to pro-life

Whenever I get discouraged about pro-life progress, I re-read From Pro-Choice to Pro-Life, an essay by Frederick Mathewes-Green, written in 1999. It was one of the first things I read when I, in total confusion, went searching for clarity on the abortion debate once I discovered my [now former] church supported abortion unconditionally. This essay offers such practical advice and is written in such a gentle spirit:

I have a personal interest in conversation between the opposing sides: I myself have championed both positions. Back in my college days I was your basic bad-tempered, male-bashing, hairy-legged women’s libber, actively pro-abortion. Abortion, I believed, was essential to liberation. Women would not be able to enjoy the same success as their male counterparts unless they, too, could be unhampered by pregnancy and childrearing.

Then, in 1976, a few years after Roe, I read an essay in Esquire magazine titled “What I Saw at the Abortion Clinic.” In it surgeon and essayist Richard Selzer described watching a 19-week abortion by an injection procedure no longer in use. He described the abortionist sliding the needle of the syringe into the woman’s belly, and then, he writes, “I see something other than what I expected here … it is the hub of the needle that is in the woman’s belly that has jerked. First to one side. Then to the other side. Once more it wobbles, is tugged, like a fishing line nibbled by a sunfish.”

The image horrified him, as it did me. I had never considered that the being in the uterus was more than a blob of tissue, that it could be a human life that wanted to go on living. Selzer concludes his essay: “Whatever else is said in abortion’s defense, the vision of that other defense will not vanish from my eyes. And it has happened that you cannot reason with me now. For what can language do against the truth of what I saw?”

The truth of what he saw affected me deeply. I could no longer say that abortion was right—and yet, somehow, I couldn’t jump on the anti-abortion bandwagon. I knew that unplanned pregnancy could wreak havoc in a woman’s life. The dilemma seemed irresolvable.

I eventually worked my way out of this dilemma, but that is why we must *listen carefully* to pro-choicers in order to understand their reasoning and, we hope, break through the deadlock.

For several years I have participated in pro-life/pro-choice dialogues, and I now serve on the national steering committee of an umbrella organization that unites grassroots dialogues, the Common Ground Network for Life and Choice [ed. note: this group ran from 1993-2000]. A dialogue usually will begin when members of a community grow weary of miscommunication and hostility and want to get people together on neutral ground just to talk. More ambitious goals may emerge after trust has been built up, but in many cities, “just talking” is all that is accomplished. Thus, Common Ground (CG) is not for every temperament; many will find the lack of concrete action frustrating….

After we listen, then we persuade. Persuasion needs to become the main strategy for pursuing the pro-life cause. While CG serves to advance the discussion between warring camps, it does little to persuade advocates on either side to “cross over.” That is better suited for when you have coffee with a friend over your kitchen table.

The first step in adopting the persuasion model may sound surprising: Put the question of making abortion illegal on the back burner. I believe abortion should be illegal because it is violence against the smallest members of our human family. But one of the reasons we’re stuck in a deadlock is because political posturing has overwhelmed the moral discussion. The abortion issue has become something like a football game where yards gained by one side are by necessity yards lost by the other, and neither side is ever going to be willing to give up the fight. This polarization makes it less likely that we can arrive at a resolution; and without resolution, consensus, and peace on this issue, there will be no lasting protection for the unborn. Even a great victory, like an amendment to the Constitution explicitly protecting unborn life, would immediately be attacked by our opponents. They would not rest until they tore it down, just as we haven’t rested in combating Roe v. Wade for 25 years. A deeper agreement must be reached before legal justice can be permanently won….

Once we get people to recognize that abortion both kills babies and hurts women, we can then pose the practical question: How could we live without it?

Abortion is part of a complex machine of interlocking social realities, linked to expectations about women’s sexual availability, men’s freedom from responsibility, and women’s duty to be economically self-supporting. The pressure of these social forces cannot be minimized: they create a demand for 4,000 abortions every day, making it the most frequently performed medical procedure.

Pro-lifers need to think beyond the single goal of making abortion illegal. People “in the middle” on this issue imagine that, if all the clinics were padlocked tomorrow, we’d just see 4,000 women pounding on the doors and crying. What needs to change in order for this ravenous demand to be quelled?…

Read it all. Feel better now? I always do.

Ace nails it

From Ace commenting on Michael Gerson’s piece in the Washington Post on the new HHS mandated regulations–excellent as usual: Radical: For No Reason Except To Punish Cultures He Abhors, Obama Mandates That Catholic Organizations Must Now Pay for Abortions for Their Workers:

…I don’t know what to say except the arrogance is breath-taking. Obama doesn’t understand the point of government.

The point of government is to run an orderly house in which a great many people may live together in relative harmony despite sharply disagreeing with each other on many things.

A hotelier, if his goal is to just run a successful hotel, should not care very much if some rooms are rented by Jews, and some by Catholics, and some by atheists; and some by families, and some by pairs of cheatin’ spouses.

Only if the hotelier puts his own moralism over the business would he attempt to force his guests to live by his specific rules of life.

Obama is a moralist, and an arrogant one. For all the talk of Christians being rigid moralists, the dirty little secret is that the left is far more rigidly, arrogantly moralistic, and it is cheerleaded by our cultural institutions (media, academia) rather than pushed back against, so its arrogance is encouraged.

Obama is pushing, very hard, a rigid moral system, and attempting to “shove it down the throats” of people who do not seek nor need his moral instruction.

It just happens to be that his code of morality is an unconventional one, borne not in the first century but in the twentieth, and which, when taken to extremes, has included conceptions of sexuality which are essentially Satanic in their license.

Can he make a little space for those who do not rush to embrace his Madonna Moralism?

No. For to do so would be to confess doubt about the Moral Scheme he has in mind for people; it would signal that he’s not utterly certain of his own moral beliefs.

And few on the political left have any sense of modesty about any of their culture-changing schemes….

Read it all.


Can one have too many links in a blog post? The 8 worst types of blog on the Internet

Okay, so I’m guilty of #5, but take a look at all eight:

. . . One trick about writing for the Internet is remembering how little most of your readers give a f*ck about anything. At all times, they are a second away from every other site on the Internet, 75 percent of which have boobies. So don’t try entertaining them with one side of a pedantic argument. Make your case, in all your own words, slap on a picture of some twins riding a Slip n’ Slide and get out of the way. . .

And, yes, I doctored the profanity in there, but check it out.

Social media rankings

Current social media rankings from VentureBeat
Interesting info from VentureBeat.

Jankovic: Motherhood is a calling. . .

From Rachel Jankovic at desiringGod:

Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law. . .

Check it out.

CNS: Tweets at St. Pete’s

From the Catholic News Service, what happens when bloggers and the Vatican meet:

At a landmark “Blog Meet,” the pontifical councils for culture and for social communications brought together 150 bloggers — in the flesh — from all parts of the world May 2 to get a sense of their hopes and concerns. Once again, the church insisted the virtual world should only be a tool, not a substitute for, real human contact, even when the meeting underlines the extraordinary powers of new media.

Greeting people face-to-face also broke down some barriers and suspicions that have built up over the years between some bloggers and the sometimes communication-challenged Catholic hierarchy. …
Of the many issues brought up during the four-hour meeting was defining what, if any, kind of relationship should exist between the church and bloggers. …

Check it out.

Shine: Chivalry is dead and you killed it, ladies

From the Shine:

I’m as hip and trendy as the next fun-loving gal, but I’m super old-school when it comes to the application of manners. Feminist agenda be darned: I believe that men should walk on the side closest to the street when we’re out on the town, that they should pull out women’s chairs when we sit down at tables, and — for the love of all that’s even remotely cool — that they shouldn’t let the doggone door crush any part of our persons as they scurry in to slosh back their weight in nachos and beer at a local eatery. …

Watching that girl go into her hell date made me want to scream like a scary movie fan watching a character about to get gutted in a slasher flick. But it’s typical of ladies in this day and age to let that kind of madness slide. I guess the pool of eligible, compatible, marry-able guys has been slimmed so close to depletion that we’ve learned how to settle for not having the little niceties like being respected and even a little revered.

I mean, even if we’re not vying for a reception of royal proportions, the least us gals can demand is to be given the greenlight to go through a doorway first. But if we don’t insist on that kind of treatment, it’s not just going to magically manifest. We have to set the expectation early on that that’s how we want to be treated. …

Check it out.

Blog meeting at the Vatican

From Vatican Radio, info on a special meeting for bloggers, and not just Catholic bloggers, on May 24. Dr. Richard Rouse, with the Pontifical Council for Culture:

One of the things we are a little bit aware of is that sometimes the Catholic blogosphere can become a bit of a ghetto…rather than engaging in the world outside. …
Certainly we are aware that a blog meeting can sometimes be a blog-fest and sometimes it can be a blog-fight. …
We are aware of that, but our intention here…is to start to engage in a first step with Catholic bloggers. Further on down the line, I’m sure we will be able to articulate a more fulsome pastoral response to the reality, but first steps at a time.


Pink Slipped: the blog

From Susannah Breslin, blogging for Forbes (my emphasis):

That means I am familiar with how to drive traffic to a blog or site. This is what it means to be an online writer today. If you think that is sad, corrupting, or indicates the demise of journalism, I suppose you are a more moral person than I am.

These days, it’s not enough to be a good writer online. You have to be a smart marketer, your own content factory, your own publicist. If you can do it all, you are golden. If you cannot, you are screwed.