Applause from an Insignificant Blogger

by Jerry Richardson   8/23/14

I am an insignificant blogger.

This is not a verbal-selfie put-down.  I have plenty of self-esteem, and I am not looking for strokes.  Please don’t.  This is just a statement of fact.  I am 74 years old, and I don’t feel a significant desire to please anyone other than Jesus, my wife, my daughter, and myself, and in that order.

I have blogged a-bit on one well-known website.  I have also blogged a smaller-bit on a couple of not-well-known websites.

But, I’ve never blogged on a really enjoyable website like StubbornThings.

So, I am writing this short article to applaud Stubborn Things and Brad Nelson.

Brad, who are you?  Where did you come from?  How did you come-up with this concept of StubbornThings: To just allow unknown people, like me, to write stuff?  Why are you doing this?

The thing I like most about Stubborn Things is that the people who blog and comment seem to sort-of implicitly agree that there will be no ad hominem or hateful attacks against article writers.

Don’t get me wrong.  The comments made on StubbornThings are very intellectually in-your-face, even though completely in a courteous manner; the comments are insightful, penetrating, thoughtfully articulated to send-you-back-to-your-assumptions, and they are very obviously based upon life, living, and practiced logical thinking.  You can sense that the comments come from an experience-bag that has been exposed to time, hardnosed-reality, and disciplined academia.

But the comments are not, thankfully, hard-hearted, cruel, or vicious.

The comments are helpful, and when you finish reading them, the comments prompt you, even if you disagree, to consider incorporating the best of the various thoughts from the comments into your own opinions.

Is that what StubbornThings is about?

I considered listing some of the regular blog commenters by name in order to thank them, but I feared I might miss someone; so let me just say a big thank you if you write-to or read StubbornThings and if you take the time, your valuable time, to comment.

I do personally thank you.

You are setting an example, and striking a valuable blow for civil-discourse in a society that is currently teetering on the brink of falling into irreparable incivility and failure to understand how to properly discuss serious issues.

If you are reading StubbornThings for the first time and do not have a regular article-website reading home, I suggest, in the words of an old commercial, that you consider StubbornThings and “give it a shot.”


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19 Responses to Applause from an Insignificant Blogger

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Thanks, Jerry.

    I had little or no idea that one of the strengths of this site is civility, for yours truly loves throwing verbal grenades, Ann-Coulter-style. And sometimes this is necessary simply in order to intersect sufficiently with reality. But I’ll take your compliment under advisement to at least, from time to time, throw just a flash grenade instead of a concussion grenade.

    I was just having a pleasant multi-hour conversation last night with this site’s Koch Brother, Pat Tarzwell and his lovely wife. They stopped by the office and 6:00 quickly turned to 9:00. That’s how it goes when we sit down to chat.

    Pat told me that he was aware of many blogs by fine writers and good people who just had trouble getting articles from others and eventually folded their site. I don’t seem to have the problem, for whatever reason. And perhaps there is some divine intervention at work, because I feel sometimes like one of the smart-aleck Blue Brothers who would often say (in between their mayhem) We’re on a mission from God.

    And there’s some truth to that in that this site is not for the satisfaction of my ego or my bank account. I set it up that way. I had toyed a while back with Blogger and did a small opinion site with a few things posted on it. But if felt so dull. And I realized that the last thing I wanted was to have a site that was all about me. That’s not humility talking. It’s just that collaboration is always a heck of a lot more fun than doing a long soliloquy.

    And another spiritual point from the Blues Brothers is that I do indeed feel like We’re putting the band back together. Where it differs from the movie is that I have no idea who will be in the band. But I know I want a band — an entire orchestra. And on drums is Glenn Fairman who was kind enough (for whatever reason he may have had) to share his vast library of writings with us. In some ways, he sets the beat.

    What initially prompted me to do this site was I finally got the confidence enough to think I had something worthwhile to say that was on par with the best that was out there. And many conservative sites, frankly, have begun setting a very low bar, so one could say they came back to my average talent and made this easy to enter. But I want to raise that bar. And you all are free to slap me across the face if I ever, like Jonah Goldberg, begin to increment myself into wishy-washy irrelevancy. (Jonah, you’re more than welcome to join us. I think it would be good for you.)

    The mission here is to give America a big group hug and save her from the Leftist horde. This isn’t about being the smartest person in the room. (Thank goodness Glenn takes that pressure off of all our shoulders in that regard.) It’s not about being the most eloquent. This isn’t a pissing contest. It’s about championing America and Western Civilization. It’s about cutting through the baloney that infects most of the culture, including quite a bit of the conservative media and Christian culture. We’re not trying to be perfect. But, good god, just speaking common sense with the light of reason is going to be golden in comparison with where our culture is now.

    And this should be fun. As conservatives, it would never do to be the kind of humorless sour-pusses like those on the Left. We can be creative and a little irreverent at times. But never politically correct, and always shooting our sharp arrows toward the truth.

    Thanks again, Jerry. It’s good to have you on trombone.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I love that comment about “this site’s Koch Brother”. It’s always nice to throw the Enemy’s mud back in their face.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        You bet. I joke that Pat is our “Koch Brother” because he’s underwritten this site’s internet costs for the last year. Thanks, Pat!

        Now, if the real Koch Brotherx wish to drop 50 grand or so on the PayPal button, I won’t object. It would certainly pay for some kind of NRO-like “cruise” to somewhere where we could all meet up and swap war stories. But that “cruise” would most likely be a meeting at some American historical site, not a frivolous cocktail party aboard a luxury liner.

        Problem is, the Koch Brothers are libertarians (I hear) and they’re not likely to take too kindly to this site’s rather robust critiques of the losertarian movement.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    As a frequent blogger who definitely has received a recent remind of how “in-your-face” the comments can occasionally be, I can only say, “You’re very welcome. And than you for your own contributions.”

  3. Anniel says:

    Jerry, What good timing you have! Here I was, thinking time after time, what have I got to say that someone else won’t think is silly, or not well thought out. Is my writing clear enough, maybe I should just go back to sleep. To read you and hear the term “insignificant” in the same breath astounds me, and humbles me too. Thank you, and Brad.

  4. Glenn Fairman says:

    This site will only be as good as the people who contribute content and feedback. Without the increased diversity of the latter, we risk becoming an echo chamber. New faces and names will be the lifeblood of this site. As it is said, “One man sharpens another.” I get excited when I see how far this site has come in just a short while. We should not fear pushing the envelope as long as it is done with wit, style, and the will to truth. Without the latter, we would be merely marking time.

  5. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,
    You said:

    “I had little or no idea that one of the strengths of this site is civility, for yours truly loves throwing verbal grenades, Ann-Coulter-style.”

    and

    “This isn’t a pissing contest.”

    I think that not being “a pissing contest” is a fair approximation of what I mean by “civility” when it comes to publically sharing opinions in writing.

    I value the way that people (men and women) of integrity can fight. The last thing I want in a verbal exchange is weenie-wussie tiptoeing around issues; there is already too much political correctness mucking about, and I don’t wish to add to it.

    I just want fair fighting. I don’t want a “pissing contest,” where the goal seems to be to hurt or personally put-down the other person. Knock the hell out of the issues, but leave, if possible, the other person’s dignity intact. I want it be about “championing America and Western Civilization” and about “cutting through the baloney”; I want to be about “shooting our sharp arrows toward the truth.”

    And I fully agree that sometimes the truth hurts, hurts badly, and needs to hurt. Liars need to be challenged with the truth, and if it hurts, they are responsible for their own pain.

    Boxing has Marquess of Queensberry Rules. Does that mean the participants don’t knock the living %$## out of each other? Heavens no! It just means such simple things as “don’t kick a man (or woman) when they are down.” Whenever possible, leave an opponent’s dignity intact.

    I love “verbal grenades.” I view them as verbal “left hooks.” They sometimes seem to come out of nowhere with shocking force. I think this is properly endorsed under Glenn Fairman’s statement: “We should not fear pushing the envelope as long as it is done with wit, style, and the will to truth. Without the latter, we would be merely marking time.”

    Sometime “verbal grenades” are the best way to combat phonies. Our goal as you and Glen have ably stated should be directed “toward the truth” while having “the will to truth.” Truth can be numerous things; sometimes it is soothing; sometimes it is uplifting; but sometimes truth is painful, very painful, and needs to be painful—a “verbal grenade.”

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I think one reason for the paucity of civility in liberal disputation is that their belief system is based on being morally and intellectually superior to those they seek to impose their will on. To correct them is to attack their worldview, and indeed their self-identity. So anything they say in response is reasonable by comparison as far as they’re concerned. Besides, no one can possibly believe conservative arguments unless they’re stupid or evil, so anything goes.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’ll take what you say under advisement, Jerry.

      We should remember that in today’s way of looking at things, saying that marriage is between one man and one woman is termed “hate speech” by the lunatics of the Left and their useful idiot underlings. Therefore sometimes the situation is like that old Saturday Night Live spoof commercial that showed a Ford Pinto being lightly dinged from behind by another vehicle. The Pinto then erupts into flames.

      It takes very little to set off those who use “offense” merely as a tactic, assuming they haven’t been completed brainwashed and turn into moral monsters by the Left which leaves their minds and emotions in disorder.

      Boom. Another grenade. And I simply don’t care anymore. I prefer not to look evil in the eye and call it a mere “misunderstanding” as much of the rest of the conservative press does.

      But that’s just me. Other opinions here abound. And starting this site gives me some feeling for what it is like to be god (not play god, but be god). One sets up the general boundaries of the universe (the blog) in macro and then lets it sort of create itself via natural selection in the micro. Soon the day may come when it is unrecognizable to me and I part for other ventures.

      Thus I further sympathize with God who is reported to have enacted the biggest “reset” (sorry, Hillary) of all: The Flood. And so perhaps if things evolve to a state where we, via hook and by crook, begin to resemble the namby-pamby confines of Establishment Republican National Review I shall enact my own version of The Flood.

      But so far – other than casting the occasional Leftist useful idiot overboard – I’m happy with the way things have developed. And I assure you that the more “democratized” we become, the more diluted the message will be. I’m thus not so sure that an echo chamber, to some extent, is such a bad thing, as Glenn says. We shall see. It just depends upon what thoughts and ideas are being echoed, for I do not inherently believe that “diversity” is a strength. A “diversity” of various grades of steel in a railroad bridge (high, low, and ultra-low quality) do not make for a better structure.

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        Brad,

        Ditto your comments on diversity.

        Years ago, I had a college professor who I really respected who stated several times in class that “diversity is POTENTIALLY an asset.” Todays worldview-weavers have left out the POTENTIALLY part. Big mistake. Too much diversity can be a disaster. The book of Judges contains a pertinent reference to this:

        “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” –Judges 21:25 NASB

        Here was pretty-much the ultimate in diversity, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Too much diversity can easily degenerate into anarchy.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Too much diversity can be a disaster.

          For this site, I don’t want diversity — at least as commonly understood. “Diversity” means treating people like little more than fashion ornaments. It’s where you get a black person, a yellow person, a red person, a homosexual person — Collect all five!. Good god, I had a relative of mine tell my brother that he chose his present church because it stressed “diversity.” Airhead. [Boom]

          Certainly I don’t at all mind a diverse set of skills, viewpoints, and areas of expertise. But anyone who starts out with the value-less objective of “diversity” is an idiot.

          [Boom…another grenade goes off.]

          I like that Glenn and Deana have experience in education, that Mr. Kung is a world traveler, that Cato specializes in economics, that Timothy has seemingly read every book known to man, that Annie can take her life experiences and make great conservative points from them, etc., etc., etc.

          But I don’t want “diversity” for diversity’s sake and (dig a foxhole now, libtards) anyone who does is a nitwit or halfwit (giving them the benefit of the doubt that they’re not a fullwit). How obscene it is that we regressed and now judge people on mere outer appearances.

          It goes without saying that every individual is unique. But two plus two still equals four. It in no way helps us to “value” those who think it is three or five. And that’s what our nitwit “Progressive” culture honors. Not facts, but just this stupid kumbaya-esque propensity for self-esteem and feelings über alles. [Boom]

          I think who ever wrote that in Judges 21:25 was a keen observer of human nature.

          • Glenn Fairman says:

            Personally, I learned more dealing with refuse and human waste than then I did in an academic setting. In sewers, you encounter a better class of people.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I would imagine that people in an academic setting are extremely unwise and closed-minded. Yes, those living in the sewer likely have a much more intuitive sense of how life is. The trick seems to be to refine ourselves without becoming just a mindless poseur.

              This site is premised on the vary obvious fact (or what should be a very obvious fact) that a mother and father with a house, children, and jobs know more about how life works than those who sit in their ivory towers.

              There’s one caveat to that: Those normal, common Americans who ought to be the salt of the earth too often turn themselves into the jelly of the earth by overindulgence in our vulgar and superficial culture. Simply the act of living a real life exposes one to a lot of wisdom. (“The facts of life are conservative” — Margaret Thatcher). But one can’t stop there. We must also work to refine ourselves.

              Unfortunately, too many do the opposite, seemingly working as hard as they can to make themselves shallow. This site is meant for those who want to re-engage in Classic Western Civilization and Thought and put “Laverne and Shirley” behind them.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          The Destroyer series featured (for a few books) one Ruby Jackson Gonzalez, who was hired by the CIA because she fit 3 affirmative action pigeonholes (a black woman with a Hispanic surname). She in fact was a capable sort who had learned to read on her own with an old McGuffey’s reader, so that she was the only member of her high school graduating class who could actually read her diploma. (This was #33, Voodoo Die, just 3 books after they had eviscerated urban black schools — among other things — in Mugger Blood. Gonzalez was sent on a mission in a West Indian country and proved to be quite capable, so they let her go and she was hired by CURE.)

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I don’t recall Saturday Night Live doing that with the Pinto, but the movie Top Secret had a scene like that. (An interesting aspect of that movie was that it effectively equated the Communists and the Nazis. Few modern movies do that sort of thing.)

        As for Jerry Richardson’s concerns about diversity, ethic/racial diversity tends to lower social cohesion, which is no doubt one reason the US has always had higher rates of violent crimes than the European countries from which most of the people originally came.

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