S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

SOTU "post mortem" from my little corner of the world -

South by Southwest statistics - Readers' countries of origins by percentage
Readers of this blog come from all over the world. Over time the percentage of South by Southwest U.S. readers has declined. It is awesome to realize how easily the Internet's technology (via SiteMeter) connects me to someone in Romania, Saudia Arabia or the Phillippines.
A minute ago the 9,000th visitor - a regular reader - came by to check out my current post about benchmarks at S/SW. Other visitors later today will perhaps visit the blog site to see what I thought of last night's State of the Union speech by our current president (OCP). It will be interesting to see from whence their inquiries come from around the world. Note that it is my regular blogging practice to use links to major U.S. and foreign press news sources, as well as my own trusted blogger favorites. Each link in the following paragraphs is to a State of the Union speech story along with (its original source).
For the first time in several years, I did listen to the president's annual speech before Congress. Actually, I am proud of myself for tuning in at all. Normally I cannot abide listening to OCP in large doses. I listened because it was a rare opportunity to see OCP (source - NYT) in the power-down position of being, in effect, required to report to the Democratic majority.
Predictably, OCP looked tense and tired. (Source - WaPo.) But he did not, surprisingly, seem to be in a terribly combative mood. Most of us already knew the general outlines of this speech. We listened most carefully, naturally, to his remarks about Iraq. (Source - Financial Times.) He seemed to be attempting to educate his audience about the sectarian dynamics in play in the war. And that tactic seemed to me to be yet another attempt to conflate the awful realities of civil war violence into the so-called war on terror. I do not think it will work yet another time.
OCP was at his best at the beginning and at the end of his speech. First, his recognition of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "first time in the picture" at a State of the Union, was very gracious. And at the speech's end he garnered warm applause as he recognized several special guests sitting in the upper gallery with the First Lady. (STOU summary source: title linked above from the International Herald Tribune)
To his credit OCP did break new ground by admitting to "global climate change." A better word would have been "warming," but "global . . .change" is good. Business leaders are getting ahead of him but it is progress.
(Source - Reuters.)
OCP did not garner any sustained, warm applause from all the Democrats in the audience. (Source - BBC News.) They were appropriately polite, standing at times, sitting on their hands at others. Iraq - and their Democratic leaders - made them a tough, disciplined crowd. The Democratic response by Senator James Webb (D-VA) was "right on," very well written and appropriate. I feel sure that OCP is very glad it is all over.
Opinion writing is what we bloggers do; we do not produce original "news." In fact, the readers who care about what I think are probably very few and far between. And many of my readers are probably similar to me politically. I have no illusions that I can sway opinion. I do understand that readers might be interested in my particular "take" on current events. I often visit my "favorites" to see what they think about a current happening or issue. (Source - TWN.) I find out if we are of like mind; sometimes my bias is thus affirmed.
Politics is my most regular subject. Readers will return to my site, however, only if they like the quality of my writing. Form, as well as substance, is important. I know from my own experience that I am drawn to an author's excellent use of the language, lack of errors, logical train of thought or argument, etc. And good posters pay attention to readability. (Source - The Reaction)
Political blogging is a form of citizen discourse. For me there are several issues associated with this form of self-expression. As a blog reader, one of my dilemmas is whether to read opposition blogs. (Source - righthinker.) I do not at this point in time. And I suspect that none of those folks read my posts either, because none has argued with me or left dissenting comments.
A Google search of the term "political blogs directory" returned 8,100,000 results. S/SW was not found in any of those on the list below, by the way. I wonder whether I should go to the trouble to become listed in a good number of these political blog directories. In other words, do blog directories make any difference in site traffic? Anyway, here are just a few references from that search:
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