Undeniably, this bit of mischief was entirely successful

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Blogging can be a drain, but I really only think that the few hours a week that I take what I have to say too seriously. It is not that I don't take my ideological commitments seriously, it is rather that there are millions of blogs and I think it is a mistake to think that I will change the world with my broken cobbled prose. Still the act of blogging itself is serious as a forum, an outlet, a steam vent. In real life a few words spoken rather then written a blog would surely quickly escalate into a heated argument in which nothing would be solved and both parties would feel slighted if not outright hostile. It is not that blogs solve anything, but they do allow the blogger to complete their thoughts, their arguments without interruption, to ask important questions, battle the urban conservative myths among many other things. That in itself is a tremendous service to the common man that feels he or she has something of at least small value to contribute to the world's narrative. I would easily stand up for someone of contrary opinion to have their say on the "internets", though mostly out of principle, but partly because the fringe, like most members of PJ media do a wonderful job of exposing themselves. Godwin's law or not, reading right-wing blogs and their support of the current ruling party one gets an historically unprecedented front row seat at the reinvention of fascism. No this is not Hitler's fascism, that has been thoroughly discredited. What we see is the Fascists Lite of modern Conservatism. The unquestioning blind faith in the unitary power and privilege of the office of president, contempt for human rights and U.S. treaty obligations, disdain for most provisions of the constitution especially the 4th amendment, blaming their failures on anyone who disagrees with them, portraying the enemies of the U.S. as more numerous and more dangerous then they actually are ( the real danger is quite real and serious and doesn't require the chicken-little rantings of conservatives), the shrill and very emotional insistence that their disinformation is quite real and that the facts and those that insist on the facts are lies and liars respectively, the supremacy of the military ( not to be confused with supporting and being sympathetic to those in harms way) otherwise known as militarism, and a twisted kind of sexism where women are allowed to offer up shrill support, but ultimately must know their place – one step below men. Not to get all semantic, but it is not a vast right-wing conspiracy as Eric Alterman once pointed out, it is all out there in the open. Sure some of it on AM radio, direct mail, and organization meetings, but clearly and unequivocally on right-wing conservative blogs.
Anyway, what got me thinking about blogs and their scale of importance was this article from Wired, 'Bad' Words Earn Blogger Big Fine

A media watchdog group protested the conviction of an Italian blogger for defamation, warning Friday that such a verdict could lead to censorship of blogs in Italy.

Blogger Roberto Mancini, 59, was convicted of defamation last month in Aosta, northern Italy, and sentenced to pay $16,900 in fines and damages.

Four people, including two journalists, had filed a complaint against him over the content of his blog, which reports on local news in sarcastic and sometimes crude terms.

"It looks like the blogger is being punished for his bad language and not because he posted false information, which is unacceptable," Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement Friday.

The group also said Mancini wrongly was held responsible for comments posted by readers.

Some right-wing blogs like Freeperville, lgf, and Limp Protein (pardon me if I didn't get those names right) have a community of commenters who's derangement is encouraged and those commenters make up the bulk of the site's content so maybe the case could be made that some sites are responsible for defamation, but still that is a dangerous road to go down with freedom of speech ultimately taking another one on the chin.

Very acute observation here, Bush and Republicans Close Their Eyes Hoping Iraq Will Go Away

Meanwhile the world looks at us in utter astonishment. Where's our famous pragmatism? Where are the people who know what they're doing? Who are these people in power? And what is this obsession about public relations and talking points? Do talking points win war? Unfortunately, they sometimes can win elections.

This appeal to emotions, the tact to simply speak louder, the Bill O'Reilly school of conservatism has worked quite well. If you should disagree and dare to yell back your're an unamerr'can lefty moonbat. Facts, statistics, anything measurable is left gasping for air on the floor, a victim of being out shouted.

The nation gets a fair share of bizarre stories out of Florida. A state that used to be great and has slipped into Fox news paradise with the help of one of the most Female Athletes Celebrated at the Lowe

GAME FACE tells extraordinary stories about how sports have shaped the identities of women and girls. Gottesman searched for nearly a decade for images that span genres—documentary, conceptual, vernacular, sports action—as well as subject, time, place, age, and race. They depict women participating in every sport from ping-pong to pole-vaulting, from hunting to hardball. And they range in style and substance, from sepia-toned portraits of a corseted lady with a bicycle in the 1890s, to a full-color action shot of today’s muscle-rippling soccer star Brandi Chastain savoring, without inhibition, her team’s sudden-death World Cup victory.

"Well, what's the gossip? You usually hear pretty much everything
that goes on around the nooks and crannies in this town, I hear.
What's the last from the gossips' corner, auntie?"

Fanny dropped her eyes, and the spark was concealed, but a movement of
her lower lip betokened a tendency to laugh, as she replied. "There
hasn't been much gossip lately, except the report that Lucy Morgan and
Fred Kinney are engaged–and that's quite old, by this time."

Undeniably, this bit of mischief was entirely successful, for there
was a clatter upon George's plate. "What–what do you think you're
talking about?" he gasped.

Miss Fanny looked up innocently. "About the report of Lucy Morgan's
engagement to Fred Kinney."

George turned dumbly to his mother, and Isabel shook her head
reassuringly. "People are always starting rumours," she said. "I
haven't paid any attention to this one."

"But you–you've heard it?" he stammered.

"Oh, one hears all sorts of nonsense, dear. I haven't the slightest
idea that it's true."

"Then you have heard it!"

"I wouldn't let it take my appetite," his father suggested drily.
"There are plenty of girls in the world!"

from The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

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