After that I get down to the politics and writing 'whenever I have something to say, or when I just feel like ranting'.
The bottom line is that this serves as my own personal bookmark.
I often (see below) add a link to my sidebar and encourage people to visit the referenced website because I think it's interesting. The thing is, whenever I sign on to the Internet I go to my blog first, and then I use the sidebar links to go to the places which I have found interesting in the past.
Such a place is Michael Yon's Online Magazine.
You can't spend as much time as I do surfing the internet without coming across references to Michael Yon. He is a free-lance journalist who has gone to Iraq to find out what is happening, so he can report it to the world at large. Often he does this by going out on patrols with American troops.
Tonite I came across a link to one of his recent articles (I don't even remember who was the source of the link, I was so impressed with the content) and found it to be incredibly real, incredibly pertinent, and extremely well written.
Flashback: One of my great-aunts died a few years ago, and while I was helping the family clean up the house so it could be sold I ran across a book of Ernie Pyle's articles. More important, inside the book I found a veritable treasure trove of Ernie Pyle articles from World War II which she had carefully clipped out of the newspapers and saved. (My family has always been readers, and compulsive savers of information; you can see that I came by my retentive tendencies naturally.)
These new writings are similar in content and quality with the greatest War Jounalists of our times. I don't feel at all self-conscious about comparing Michael Yon with Ernie Pyle. In fact, Pyle often was so consumed with the need to make each individual soldier 'real' to his readers that he would slow the narrative by introducing each according to a formula. (eg: "Private First Class Joseph Smith, 23, of Salt Lake City, Utah.")
Yon introduces the people in his articles, but usually he has no need to pander to the editor of the Salt Lake City "Tribune" or the Dodge City "Kansan". In fact, he sometimes deliberately declines to provide more than a tagline identification to the people he writes about. For example, he writes with great respect and affection of "Captain V", but he does not slow down the narrative to identify him further.
All of this steamy series of accolades are the result of reading a single article by Yon. Here is the link to that article, and here is the link to his website. I will add the website link to my sidebar as well, because I can see that I will be revisiting it daily to see what else is new, and also to read all of the archived articles he has published.
I don't even have to clip the articles out and press them in a book. They'll be there, any time I can get my hands on a computer and a modem.
My great-aunt would have killed for the information access I enjoy.
Now you can have the same access for the low-low price of -- free.
Only a fool would resist such an offer.
Scrolling back through my browser history, I can give "Firing For Effect" the hat-tip for his reference to BlackFive which provided the link Michael Yon.
( I can see that I'll eventually be including links to BlackFive on my sidebar as well, for my own personal convenience if for no other reason.)