Thursday, January 1, 2009

American Power in 2009

Courtney, my young blogging buddy at GSGF, asked if I was going to write a New Year's post. Well, yes, and I might as well get around to it before the Rose Bowl starts. Otherwise, I'll be online all afternoon, and I want to leave this one on top until tomorrow.

I'm not one for resolutions. I need to lose some weight, and I'm going to work on that, primarily by blogging less and hiking more. My main concern for myself and my family this year, frankly, is economic. No big worries, actually. My job is fine, and my college so far has pledged not to lay off faculty. My wife's also very happy in her new position as an assistant store manager at a major retail outlet in the region. My kids are doing fine, although I do pledge to work harder at helping my youngest son with his learning. He's about a year behind where he should be in school and we're working with doctors and the school staff to pin down the challenges and move forward. No, my biggest worry is the housing market. I'm going to need to refinance at the end of this year. The loan's an adjustable, one of the easier ones to get a few years back when the market was still booming. We have a new home. My neighborhood's development was completed in 2005, and we moved in our current location in early 2006. I haven't checked the papers or talked with neighbors, but I'm pretty sure homes in our neighborhood are selling for about $100 to $150 thousand less than their selling prices, and that might be an underestimate. I'm guessing my mortgage is flat on equity or underwater. Lenders have pulled back, and who knows what things'll be like when they ask for that appraisal? I don't like to think about it because I get anxiety attacks. I will deal with it at the appropriate time. It's not an emergency or anything. But when the loan payments balloon I don't know if we'll afford them and we'll be deciding what to do at that time, although I'm confident that God's goodness will help me though any difficulties. One reason I don't blog about the housing market that much is because I'm in the thick of the difficulties and I wish some things had turned out differently.

So, with that, let me turn to what I want to do this year with my blog,
American Power. I thought about doing some big roundup of favorite blogs or favorite blog posts I'd written in 2008. Either way something like that was going to take a lot of work. Just as I was thinking about it, I came across this awesome post at "This Ain't Hell, But You Can See it From Here." Jonn Lilyea, the author, makes a number of insightful observations about blogging, and I especially liked this passage on personal hopes for readership, and the phenomenal community-building that blogging's all about:

We’ve been lucky with traffic, because some of the finest bloggers on the web have cut us a break and sent traffic our way with little prodding. And I’ve got a lot of great readers and commenters who’ve been loyal for months now.

It always amazes me when I’m cruising the internet looking for stuff to write about, I’ll come upon a blog that I’ve never heard of and I’ll see
This Ain’t Hell tucked in among some of the big names in the blog roll. It’s so gratifying.

I used to link to every blog that linked to us, but it’s impossible to keep up with everyone these days, but I’ve never turned down anyone who asked for a link - which is obvious by the length of my blogroll. I also used to read every blog in the blog roll everyday - that has become impossible, too. But I do my best to keep up.
If you check the post you'll find one of the most extensive roundups of appreciations and kudos available. I left a comment and admitted that this was the New Year's post I was hoping to write. It's a real beauty.

I too have too many bloggers whom I admire and appreciate. Some of them are professionals or top conserservatives in the right-blogosphere.
Jonn at This Ain't Hell has another neat bit that's relevant:

I tried so long to get a link from Blackfive and finally scored on National Airborne Day. Since then I’ve tossed brews back with Matt and Uncle Jimbo and met Laughing Wolf at a barbeque.
What's great about the post is it's humility. I think most serious bloggers - folks who write well and wish to see their essays gain wider exposure - also hope to be seen and linked by some of the top bloggers on the web. Jonn notes also that he finally got a link from Hot Air, for example, and that had to be cool.

I've also been lucky at American Power. I can't name all the top bloggers who have thrown me a link, and I've had quite a few, thankfully. Probably the most generous is
Jeff and his co-bloggers at Protein Wisdom. Those guys write well, especially Jeff, and they send a lot of traffic. Tom McGuire linked once and I was astounded at the guy's traffic. People were clicking that link for days. The Other McCain's a generous linker, and last week he sent a lot of traffic my way when his post got picked up at Instapundit (not quite an "Instalanche" on my side, but cool anyway). There may be a few other great bloggers who've sent readers may way who I'm omitting (Tigerhawk sent me a lot of traffic over Thanksgiving weekend, now that I think about it). It's the ones who haven't that confound me. For the life of me, Jules Crittenden, who's always a great read and a font of moral clarity, just won't deign to associate with American Power. I sent him an e-mail with a link yesterday, and that's that. He's into the blogging hierarchy thing. He loves to thank all the big bloggers who send him links, and blows off those down at the lower 9th tier as infinitesimal. I also sent Pamela Geller a link the other day, but I misspelled her name at my post and she let me know that THAT WAS A BIG BLOGGING SOCIAL FAUX PAS. I guess Atlas Shrugs is off the list of American Power benefactors!

In any case, I'm not too serious about it. I think I get more links from the big lefty blogs that I piss off, especially
Lawyers, Guns and Money. The hits to my stat counter from the progressives are nice, although I could do without the threats and intimidation in the comment threads.

Anyway, I mostly just have fun getting my ideas out there and building community with regular folks. I don't blog for fame or income (and I don't reallly understand those blog "blegs" for money you see sometimes, which is basically online panhandling). I've built up a whole bunch of friends online who are my best buddies, literally. I can't mention them all, of course, as I'd be here all day. I correspond with
Jan at Vinegar and Honey quite a bit. We share our outrages with each other and generate ideas for blog posts. Courtney checks in a lot with reports on balancing the demands of college, home life, and blogging. If I'm forgetting any other regular visitors, just sent me an e-mail and I'll add your link to this post.

Now, as far as what I'm going to do with this blog going forward? Well, I haven't thought much about it. Things will pretty much be the way they are. Readers might have noticed that I like to write in depth on some of the hottest news stories of the day, especially as those events have implications on politics, cultural change, and national security. The gay marriage debate and the Mumbai massacre are the earlier examples, and the current ongoing Israel campaign in Gaza being this week's example. This is when I do my best blogging. I know there's a decline in the variety of blog posts, but the quality of the analysis goes up, as the constant posting on topic is recursive and ends up being like a research topic. Plus, I'm able to get a lot of outrage off my chest and piss off the secular progressives who are intent to destroy this nation.

In fact, that's what I've pretty much always done. While the hardcore progressives are in fact a small percentage of the American electorate, their influence is magnified by their representation in the media, the transnational corporate sector, and in the schools, from K-12 all the way to the elite universities. One of the biggest calamities of Barack Obama's election is that he personally legitmates the secular progressive agenda by his background, ideology, and training (and he successfully suppressed his radicalism during the campaign and has so far abandoned an outwardly aggressive progressivism amid the realities of transitioning to goverment in a center-right polity).

So that's what readers can expect in 2009. This blog, American Power, is a voice of moral clarity. Note though, please, that I am a humble and very imperfect man. I strive to be as caring and trusting as I can be, and I'm working on it. Last year I begain attending church again for the first time in decades. I don't go as often as I like, but it's fulfilling to me to be around people with strong moral values and a respect for traditionalism in family and culture. We are losing this as a society. Not religion, of course, but a true practicing Christianity that take spirtual values as meaningful and life-driving - and I mean as a code by which to live ethically and good.

On the other hand, I'm not one to "turn the other cheek," to let ideological bygones be bygones. I'll fight for my principles in blogging battles, as well as in the campus debates the occassionally erupt at my school - because the views I represent need to be expressed and defended. If I make people uncomfortable, that's just the way it's going to have to be. If I lose readers or traffic because I'm "too serious," well, I have no apologies. One of the things that drives me buggy about a lot of big academic bloggers is their refusal to take moral stands.
Daniel Drezner's the worst. A Jewish scholar of international relations, I've rarely seen him get truly outraged at the leftist nihilism and pro-Palestinian Israel-bashing in the academy and online. Perhaps I've missed something at his blog, but I got tired of it, of his refusal as a "blogademic" to ruffle any feathers among the scholarly mandarin-gatekeepers at the top peer-reviewed journals.

In any case, I'm rambling and the Rose Bowl's starting.

Let me close by sending folks over to Paula in Israel, who writes one of
the most vitally interesting blogs I've seen in a while. Also, if you're a regular commenter or visitor here who doesn't blog, what are you waiting for? Start a blog at Blogger (for free) and I'll give you a huge shout-out at American Power!

Happy New Year!


heidianne jackson said...

happy new year to you donald! i'm back blogging after a much needed respite and i'm happy to be so. looking forward to a great blog to read here for 2009!

kreiz1 said...

Sorry to hear that So Cal's ravaged real estate market has had such a direct impact on your family and families like yours, Donald. Hopefully some stability- both in terms of values and loan accomodations- will materialize soon. It's the linchpin of a successful recovery nationwide. Until then, there's little positive about this painful deleveraging process.

You've worked hard on your blog. It's always substantive- I've thought this from my first viewing. Noticed many links from Memeorandum. Tigerhawk's a very solid blogger- and you should be thrilled that he's reached out to you.

Best of luck in 2009. Keep up the good work. And go USC.

cracker said...

Well Happy New Year .....

A note on weight loss....I personally cant stand any new agey, hocus pokery but.....
my wife and I recently decided not to a renew our gym membership...

So,there's a there's a Yoga Studio nearby (Bikram)

She wanted to go, wanted me to go, I realized I was going to have to attend at least once to prove hat it wasnt my thing.....

well its been a month, I go every day, I feel better than I have in years, every part of my body feels great, my thinking is often clearer and more focused for more hours of the doctor is pleased, lower BP, and cholesterol ...and yes, I lost about 10 lbs so far.

Highly recommend it, there's no religious affiliation, so no one is going to go to hell for attempting to improve ones chassis.

AmPowerBlog said...

Hi Heidi!

I'm glad you're blogging again. It's going to be a great for writing. We're the opposition. Welcome back!

AmPowerBlog said...

Hey Kreiz! Where've you been, LOL!

Thanks for commenting. We'll be okay on the housing market. We have good jobs, so if worse comes to worst we'll sell the house. I hope not, but I'm not going to worry. I'll still be standing tall, and we're all healthy and hearty around here.

Hope you're well, and thanks for the compliments on the blog!

AmPowerBlog said...

Hi Cracker: Actually, I'm a recovering fitness addict. So, if I can get back in the mode of exercizing, I'll be just fine. Blogging's been my addiction this last year or so, especially through the election, so we'll see how it all plays out in 2009.

Be well...

Jan said...

Well, Donald..we pretty much see eye-to-eye on most issues, so I appreciate that you so thoroughly cover those issues with no thought of repercussions from anyone.

I hope that you will continue to do what you are doing--it's a service to all of us with the same convictions, and you get it out there for all to see.

May God bless you in your endeavors in the coming year!

AmPowerBlog said...

Thank you, Jan. I don't if I don't worry at all about the repercussions, but we have to be honest in our writing and in our values!

Thanks and best to you in 2009!

Joe "Truth 101" Kelly said...

Dear Professor Douglas:

I look forward to irritating you throughout 2009 and also look forward to being irritated by you and your "deluded right wing friends." Thank you for allowing me to post on your site and best wishes for continued success.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Dr Douglas! Unfortunately, last I looked, your Trojans were stomping my Nittany Lions.

AmPowerBlog said...

Truth101: You're a nice leftist. We can agree to disagree. Happy New Year.

Philippe Öhlund said...

I hope and pray everything will work out fine for you and your family in 2009, Donald!

Myself, I had the worst year I can remember in 2008.

I have to learn from that and work myself into a better situation.

You are such a positive and interesting person, with a great philosophy, Donald, so I am sure everything will work out fine for you.

But it is like you use to say: we have to fight! :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on Paula's blog- I link to her often, hoping more American's will read what she has to say! Though, I'm not so sure my blog is of interest to your scholarly readers- I appreciate your link to me! Happy New Year!

AmPowerBlog said...

Hi Dana! Go Trojans!

Happy New Year!

AmPowerBlog said...

We'll be fine, Philippe!

AmPowerBlog said...

Hi Beloved Mama!

I saw Paula's blog this morning and that made me feel good that our words strengthen her. Some of my stuff at American Power is scholarly, but most is just regular political blogging. I'll be checking your blog, and hopefully some of my readers will find you and say hello as well.

Thanks for commenting and don't wait too long to come back!

courtneyme109 said...

hApPy NeW yEaR AmPow! Hope 09 is mighty fine for you, yours and all ya'lls endeavors.

American Power's robust preponderance of neoconservatism shall serve us well in 2009.

Essential intelligentsia in the new millennium

AmPowerBlog said...

You're hot, Courtney!

Happy New Year!

JSF said...


Good luck on all your resolutions and good luck with your weight loss this year (I'm working on it myself) -- I will be returning to Blogging in march (Legal issues are ensueing right now and the Blog is part and parcel of the case).

Good posts on the Isreali-gaza war. By the way, my bete noir on the Daily Kos, The Heathlander, dmitted on Kos that he is a paid shill of Iran. Do I pick the bad guys or what?

Happy 2009! Best to you and yours.

AmPowerBlog said...

Thank you, JSF! I hope all your legal issues get worked out and you get back to blogging!

Happy New Year!

Right Truth said...

Happy New Year. Nice new year post you've done here. Most bloggers see the need to blog less, live more, but it's like an addiction I suppose.

Courtney is a very special young lady. I have high hopes for her, I know she will go far. (If I could adopt her I think I would, but her parents might object.)

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

AmPowerBlog said...

Actually, I should blog less, Debbie. I will too, if I can get back into the fitness mode. Yet I feel like I'm on a mission with blogging, and as you know, we can get our conservative ideas out in to the realm and make a difference.

Thanks for visiting and Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to

say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Average American said...

Donald, I hope you and your family have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Good on ya Donald, and a Happy New Year to you and yours...We're counting on you to annoy more than a fair share of secular progressives and leftist nihilists in 2009....

AmPowerBlog said...

Sarah: Welcome to American Power! Glad to have you visiting, and on January 1st too! What a great way to start the new year!

AmPowerBlog said...

Average Ameriacan: How are you? Thanks for visiting. Best wishes to you and yours for 2009!

AmPowerBlog said...

I'll do my best, Ottavio! Thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! I've been blogging for years (at Liberty Pundit and other places) and have finally moved back to my own place (where I started). I'm at Would love a link (I've given you one). Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Long live American Power! I look forward to the readings. You really set the standard.

Oh and congrats to USC. I'm pretty dog gone happy about LSU showing up against GT.

Anonymous said...

No wonder you have ever faith in the system, that the next boom is right around the corner, that the bailout was non-negotiable and the republicans were being "nihilists" for not passing the gayilout in it's first pass.

You are a degenerate house flipper who bought a home with zero money down.

Ha ha ha. I say let the market continue to rot. Let it ROT. Let those who save their money; the old suckers who utilize such an out-dated and un-patriotic a thing as saving, those anti-capitalists, those "nihilists", be able to afford to buy a house in your lame neighborhood, and may they play loud whiteboy music (because I'm sure you don't mind the mariachi crap that your current neighbors and fellow SCAMMER mexican illegals are playing). You are a swarthy disease Donald Douglas. Your vision of a mexicanized America has taken a step back; because the gayilout isn't working. Commodity, gas, and home prices continue to plummet, to the horror of the jews and their servile yesmen debtocrats such as yourself.

jill said...

Happy new year and thanks for that insightful post. I've been wondering why I continue to blog and where I'm going with it. Catharsis is certainly part of it. Sharing great stuff with others is another. And passing on information that you believe is essential to others is a big motivator.

I've been linked to you at P&P since I started. I'd love a link from AmPow since you so generously offered.

Wishing you and your family many blessings in 2009. Here's hoping the housing market will head up soon.

Jeff Wills said...

Happy New Year Don. One of my New Year resolutions is to read you fine blog more.

Good luck with your son's education and the housing market.

AmPowerBlog said...

PrivatePigg! I beat you to it!

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks Jason: I was listenting to Pete Carroll at the end of the game and he thought SC could beat anybody. They've been great to watch this last few years.

Thanks for your kind words.

AmPowerBlog said...

Northern Copperhead: Actually, I put 5 percent down, and twenty years ago that would have been 20 percent. But you don't really care about the housing market, apparently: "You are a swarthy disease Donald Douglas."

Don't come back, okay. Plenty of honest saving people are having a hard time in this economy, whites, blacks, "Mexicans" and all the others who make up our housing market and our national fabric. You obviously don't want to be a part of that fabric.

AmPowerBlog said...

You got it, Pundette. Coming right up!

AmPowerBlog said...

Everything's going to be fine, Jeff. Thanks for your thoughts.

Jack Steiner said...

Well done and well said. Happy New Year.