Today is the first anniversary of the inception of  my personal blog, "One Citizen Speaking."


Original intent...

On April 15th, 2007, I explained the reason behind my blog.

"The purpose of this blog is to make me feel good. Most of us spend our lives tilting at windmills or its electronic equivalent, shouting at the television. But nothing much happens because our range of communication is limited."

"Well, the Internet arrived and made it possible for those with like minds to connect, to debate the important subjects and to take concerted action when prudent and necessary. Independent thinkers coalescing into a forceful tide of action takers."

"If you doubt the importance of this communication medium, just witness the number of multi-national companies with their special interest lobbyists trying to curtail free speech or program development on the Internet."

"Having said that, all of the opinions, unless specifically attributed, are my own. So, please join me in discussing whatever is on MY mind. Want to feel good, start your own blog. Want to disagree, start your own blog."

Has it made a difference?

In the larger world

I am not so sure. Even though I have seen my blog posts listed in the nation's largest circulation daily newspaper in the country (USA Today), the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, CNN, passed along by one of the major wire services (Reuters), and quoted in a number of other mainstream blogs. I also see, from my blog statistics, that my blogs are also being read by people in a number of foreign nations.

To my readers:

Again, I am not sure that I really did change anybody's mind. I have seen both positive and negative comments, which I attempted to answer with informative insight and an even hand. The only comments ever eliminated were deliberate spam efforts carrying commercial messages and these were reported to my ISP as spam so that their IP addresses could be blocked. I hoped that I was informative,  entertaining or both. If not, sorry!

To myself:

The answer is unequivocally yes!

First, in maintaining the daily discipline of writing a daily blog entry (or two) which has resulted in 547 posted blog entries.

Second, the moderation of my own personal opinions in print when considering the positions of others. Perhaps this was brought about by an awareness that I had an increased responsibility to consider journalistic ethics and practices -- even though I remain a "commentator" rather than a journalist. And perhaps this was due, in part, to some of the insightful comments presented by my friends and readers.

And third, it has made me more aware of the major issues of our times. (In no particular order)

Political Correctness. The single greatest threat to our society as we know it. Acting as if  irrational people and their views can be treated rationally or accommodated by simply acting like the problem can be resolved by a Pollyanna-like solution. A "head-in-the-sand" approach which can get you killed.

Islamo-fascism. We are headed for another great war between competing cultures and religions. They respect only strength and force, while we waffle on about the "rule of law" and democracy. I pray that a significant number of people do not have to die a terrible death before we realize that we must neutralize the threat forever or force them to change their toxic ways.

Politics.  The corruption of our leaders by the special interests is the second greatest threat to our nation. The hyper-politicalization of our institutions has greatly diminished their responsibility to America, to the rule of law, to sound principles of citizenship and has led to a position of ignoring the rights of the common citizen that is the true source of their power.

The duplicity of politicians and the importance of avoiding favoring the socialist "collective" in favor of relying on "individualism."

It has also made me somewhat more appreciative of the pragmatic politician over the one who simply refuses to budge on ideological grounds -- and thus, accomplishes little.

One politician that I really admired for his conservative, principled and knowledgeable efforts on my behalf and those of my neighbors, turned out to be a "professional politician" who actually lived outside of our district for years and chose to run for another elective office in another venue when he was termed out after years of political service. Probably the smartest man to ever serve in the position and yet was thwarted at almost every turn.

In presidential politics, it has been an interesting year. Never having found a suitable democrat candidate, I moved from Fred Thompson to Mitt Romney  -- and by default, to John McCain. As I said, I now have a better appreciation of the pragmatic politician and a better understanding of how an ideologue can fail to produce results. The closest to my ideal politician remains Ronald Reagan.

Multi-culturalism. There is every reason to celebrate our individual uniqueness and culture -- and every reason to draw together as a nation to protect our common interests. However, there is no reason why we should allow politicians, bureaucrats or the special interests to gain more power by dividing us and diluting our common strength so that they may easily claim leadership over a smaller and more manageable segment of our population. The classic "us" versus "them" syndrome that is being exploited only to increase the power of an organization and its leaders.

Moral equivalency. Or what I term, "the Jimmy Carter approach." There is a clear delineation between good and evil. Between those who kill soldiers in battle and those who kill innocent civilians. Between those who steal from the common purse and those who "do without." Loudly proclaiming one man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter does not hold up to scrutiny when the terrorists hide behind innocent civilians and send their women and children to kill the enemy by convincing them that they will be celebrated as martyrs. Likewise, listen up Saudi Arabia, there is no difference between those who fund terrorism and the spread of a toxic religion and those who directly attact innocent civilians.

Toxic religions. Any religion which remains intolerant of other viewpoints and "commands" its followers to kill unbelievers should be banished from the face of this earth. Any religion which condones the mistreatment of others, whether through martyrdom or the rape of a child needs to seek new leadership and to purge those members of the faith who have transgressed against humanity.

Finance. I have struggled with trying to explain the collective stupidity, chaos and corruption within our political and financial world that resulted in the present financial crisis. Considering I have a professional working knowledge of the mortgage industry, I have seen the crisis unfold on a daily basis. The solution is far simpler than one thinks. Unfortunately, it requires political resolve to ignore certain special interests in favor of protecting our financial future.

Global Warming. I have read a number of original scientific papers, performed some of my own calculations and have concluded that Global Warming is a political scheme to increase political power and to engage in massive wealth re-distribution. The science does not support the political conclusions and the matter is far from being the "emergency" that is being portrayed by the United Nations and self-interested people such as Al Gore.

We need to recognize that the far-left has co-opted the environmental movement and has moved beyond ecology into power politics.

Gun Control vs. Crime Control. The police and authorities cannot be everywhere they are needed when they are needed. The police actually are not compelled to protect any individual, only maintain the good general order of society. Therefore, you must rely on your God-given right to self-defense using any means necessary... short of machine guns, grenades, explosives, missiles and personal nuclear weapons.  Those who want to rehabilitate psychopaths are as much to be feared as the psychopath themselves.

Drugs and Crime. Why we continue to tolerate gang activity is beyond me. If drugs are such a problem, let us legalize, control and tax them -- then the billions of dollars will not flow to the drug lords and those they pay off, but into our treasury for the use in improving society. As for gang members -- deport, execute or incarcerate as circumstances dictate.

Immigration. I need only to look at downtown Los Angeles to realize that we are being invaded by a foreign nation while our government prattles on about political correctness and the necessity to support the aliens with our tax dollars. One need only to look to the Los Angeles Mayor, former Mexican activist Tony Villar (his real name), to see him welcome hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants when they took over the streets of Los Angeles and massed at City Hall. If immigration is not checked, the immigrants will simply vote us out of our own homes.   

Energy independence. We have the technology to build advanced nuclear plants. We have the technology to tap geothermal energy. We need to move beyond the special interests and actually implement a crash program of energy independence. This includes drilling in all areas that can provide petroleum products independent of the Middle East. And the arrest and incarceration of anyone who fails to adhere to the specifications and practices necessary to build safe nuclear plants. No more welding shortcuts or watered-down concrete pours. No more fudging record-keeping to meet artificially imposed deadlines.

A toxic judiciary. Along with lawyers who create complexity as a full employment strategy, we are faced with judges that are usurping the powers of Congress by making law from the bench. Judges which are letting our own enemies use our own laws against us. Judges which have become ideological instead of simply ruling on the legal issues at hand.

And a host of other issues which concern me as an American and as a individual person.

In the final analysis...

I believe that this blogging experience has been beneficial for me and I am resolving to continue my efforts, at least until the election. I am also going to embark upon a more commercial enterprise in the next few months which takes advantage of what I have learned during this exercise.

Thank you...

I would like to thank my family and friends for listening to, as well as reading, my personal rants. Especially my best friend Al who has listened to my pre-blog rants and who has offered numerous suggestions to help me channel and improve my blogging efforts. Probably one of the only people in the world that knows all of the verses to "Home, Home On The Range" and regularly threatens to sing them.

What can YOU do?

Try to enjoy your life and make a difference in this world. Start with improving yourself and being of benefit to your family, friends, neighbors, community, state and nation.

In the words of my friend Al, "lo que vamos a ver lo que vamos a ver" (roughly: we shall see what we shall see) and "this too shall pass."

-- steve

A reminder from a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell