"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff" - Matt Kibbe


This Blog is a Failure

By Grant Davies

When I first started this blog back in 2008 (yes, it has been that long) it looked different than it does now. A lot has changed over the years.

I don't write as much anymore but I don't think that caused the failure. My writing was never very good (in some cases dreadful) but people didn't seem to mind too much if the message I was sending got through.

I will opine that the writing has gotten less dreadful over the years. So the writing itself probably didn't cause the failure. The failure was in the concept, not necessarily the execution.

The current description at the top of the page explains "This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. Our purpose is to advance civil society and the freedom philosophy and perhaps have a little fun while we're at it." And that is true now. I can't even remember what it was before I changed it to that. But the title of the blog tells what I really wanted the blog to become.

"What we Think and Why" referred to my desire that people could read what I wrote and then comment. What "we" think referred to everyone who read the blog, not just my opinion. The "why" part was my hope that people would not just spout off, agreeing or disagreeing, but explaining why they thought what they thought. Perhaps they would even include links to the articles or studies that explained why.

I was hoping for thoughtful discussion. It didn't happen to any acceptable degree. A few people (not too many) commented on the posts a bit in the beginning. They mostly do not anymore. Those who did were mostly agreeing with me. Affirmation was not my goal.

So, the site has become what I think and why. Question is, who cares? I try to make the topics compelling, but my opinions don't pass the "compelling" test. I post things that I suspect many people haven't spent much time thinking about, much less reading about. The idea wasn't to educate people. After all, who the heck am I to do that? It was an effort to expose people to articles, authors, and concepts they didn't usually address. That part was mostly a success I think.

But the failure was in the communication part. What we've got here, is failure to communicate. And I'm not sure exactly why it works better on some social media, like FaceBook, than it does on this blog.

Anyone who has a thoughtful opinion about what they think about that and why, is invited to comment below. I don't expect a flood of replies because, in that regard, this blog is a failure.


Shame on Me

"Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?" --- Martin Luther King, Jr. 

By Grant Davies

In April 1963, only a few days after my thirteenth birthday, Martin Luther King was sitting in a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, writing a letter to some clergymen. The letter he wrote was not on my radar screen. I was preparing to graduate from elementary school.

Looking back now I only vaguely recall hearing his name. I certainly didn't know anything about him. I remember later hearing that he was a "negro agitator." It didn't sound like a good thing to be.

But I had other things on my mind. I was alternately terrified and anxious to attend high school in a few months. I cared about girls and my paper route. As the next few years went by I became more aware of who he was but my focus was still on girls and my various jobs.

I wonder now if my outlook on life would have been somewhat different if I had read that letter and had the maturity to understand its contents back then. I'll never know.

Today, I saw a post on Facebook from a freedom advocate with whom I am acquainted. His name is Ken Prazak. He confessed: "I am a bit ashamed to say that I had never read this all the way through. I regard it as one of the greatest arguments for freedom and justice ever written. I look at it as a universal argument, not only for the "negro" but for all mankind." He was, of course, referring to that same letter written in that Birmingham jail cell.

Now I'm sixty-six years old and I guess it's never too late. I decided to follow his lead and read it in its entirety.

I agree with his comment about the letter. I read it. Shame on me for not reading it sooner.

Letter from a Birmingham jail.