Friends and Bloggers – 2016

Woman Writing Letter
Woman Writing Letter

A goal of a writer should be to provide unique insight into contemporary society informed by life events. If what’s written is not so informed, then why bother?

At the rate internet memes are cranked out and distributed in conventional social media channels, a primary source for contemporary information and opinion, it is not easy to differentiate oneself from the vociferous hoards. Like an amateur anthropologist it is difficult to avoid tainting the insight with questions asked.

At the same time, there is no such thing as “objective” reportage. Those who have been through “new journalism” know that by now. Unique is not equal to unbiased. Tainted can be akin to seasoned, as in adding chervil leaf to a soup or casserole. We bloggers should seek to be a cross between Margaret Mead, Howard Zinn, Joan Didion and Hunter S. Thompson, with a dash of Truman Capote, Molly Ivins or Tom Wolfe added for extra measure.

There are two parts of this: reading and writing. Of these, reading to inform one’s point of view is the critical aspect requiring diligence. Following are some authors you may not have heard of who are worth reading.

Arnie Alpert is Co-Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s New Hampshire Program. He recently participated in a two-week fact-finding trip to Mexico focused on human rights. He posts at I met Arnie at FCNL in Washington, D.C. while advocating for the New START Treaty.

Recent post: Central Americans are Running for Their Lives.

Carrie La Seur practices energy and environmental law on behalf of farmers, ranchers, and Native Americans, and does a little writing, from an office in Billings, Montana. I met Carrie while serving as a member of the Johnson County, Iowa Board of Health.

Recent post: Little Miracles Everywhere, or How Billings, Montana Got Its Bookstore Mojo Back.

Leilani Münter is a biology graduate, professional race car driver and environmental activist. I attended Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project Training with Leilani and a thousand others in Chicago in 2013.

Recent post: Since the North Carolina Department of Transportation Did Not Take Public Comments At Tesla’s Sales License Hearing in Charlotte Today, I Submitted Written Testimony.

Davis Shorr is a member of the Stevens Point, Wisconsin City Council and author of a new book, I Call Bullshit: Four Fallacies That Keep Our Politics From Being Reality Based. I met David while working on nuclear disarmament issues.

Recent post: Today’s Republican party is out of ideas.

Paul Street is an independent radical-democratic policy researcher, journalist, historian, author and speaker based in Iowa City, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of seven books. I met Paul at a reading from one of his books in Iowa City.

Recent post: Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age.

Rod Sullivan is a Johnson County, Iowa supervisor and blogger since 2007 at I met Rod while working on a campaign at the Johnson County Democrats office in Iowa City.

Recent post: August 30, 2016.

Lynda Waddington Sometimes dances in the rain. Often sings in the car. Always loves the journey. Columnist at The Cedar Rapids Gazette. Lynda was secretary of our Second Congressional District caucus for John Edwards.

Recent post: #DemsInPhilly — Finding Homelessness Everywhere.

~ Written for Blog for Iowa