Are you looking for a new blog to check out and enjoy? Something different from the normal poliblog?
WILLisms.com is a very interesting and witty site with stunning graphics. WILLisms focuses on good public policy issues, like Social Security reform, debt, political and economic reform, politics and other important issues of the day.
I have updated my Blogs of Note to the right to include this well-run blog. Stop by and peruse some of Will Franklin's musings. Enjoy!
Tired of what you read in the Main Stream Media about Iraq and want a firsthand, reliable account?
Well, now you can do something about it! Bill Roggio of the 4th Rail is embarking on an exciting adventure. He is taking a leave of absence and is going to go to Iraq for a month to report firsthand. As a former US Army soldier, he will be in good company as he will be with Regimental Combat Team - 2, 2nd Marine Division.
However, Bill needs our support. Please visit his blog or click the link to the right and give him your financial support. Read his post here and click on the PayPal link. It will be the best money you spend all day. Bill's commentary on Iraq is literally second to none. My wife and I are contributing, and I strongly encourage you to do so.
Keep him and his family in your prayers as he prepares to leave his job unpaid for the month and gather support for his trip over to Iraq.
I plan on posting more information about his trip and his new adventure with ThreatsWatch.org as information becomes available.
Update for Bloggers who support Bill Roggio. Please feel free to use the button above. For information on how to use it:
1) Copy image onto your server (this will save me some bandwith)
2) This is the code I used "<a href="http://billroggio.com/archives /2005/10/a_journey_to_an_1.php><img title="Billroggio_iraq" alt="Support Bill Roggio's Trip to Iraq" src="http://[INSERT YOUR FILE LOCATION OF IMAGE HERE]" border="0" /></a>"
If you would like a different file size or format, email me at the link on the upper left, and I will send it to you.
Bruce Chang has an excellent and wide-ranging post on religion from 16th century Europe to the modern day Middle East and its relationship to nation state interactions. His post provides much to think about in the International Relations (IR) realm and gives some very interesting insight into where the future of Middle East religion/politics is heading.
Simon's World is following the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Donald Tsang's trip to Canada, America and Europe with this post. Simon refers to Mr. Tsang as The Don, and this story is not getting the press it deserves. How China interacts with and governs Hong Kong is more telling than any number of white papers on democracy that the Communist party releases (See FT article here or Taipei Times article here or editorial here).
GodBlogCon 05 was, on the whole, a success. (The GBC blog is here with great links to commentary). Much thanks is owed to Hugh Hewitt for innovating the idea, Dr. John Mark Reynolds for graciously hosting the convention and sharing his ideas at Biola, and Matt Anderson and his team for pouring their energy into making it a reality. The hospitality shown by all at Biola sure does add to its credit as a first-rate Christian university.
While the blogosphere is a wonderful place with possibilities of linking people together around the globe in stimulating thought, discussion, arguments and building friendships, there is still nothing that can replace the ability to sit down for a meal among friends.
I had this pleasure in finally meeting Marvin Hutchens from Little Red Blog and his delightful and thought-provoking wife. They are an excellent team, and it is a privilege to call them friends.
The concept of GodBlogCon will continue next year, likely in August, back at Biola University. With that in mind, I would like to suggest how it can be improved:
More opportunity for building "community"
Community is often one of the more overused and misunderstood words in the modern Christian church. However, God did not intend for us to live this life solo. Far from it. As God is in community as a triune God, so we too can benefit from the whole body of Christ with all of its talents and gifts. It is the perfect argument of how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. (For a great primer in Christian Community, see Pastor Tod's Blog, "It Takes a Church" under the category Christian Community here).
GodBlogCon benefitted from having some great Christian bloggers at the events. Each of these bloggers is like an elite soldier in an army. (Note: This is only an analogy, and it is important to not read too much into the military paradigm). On their own, they are very capable. However, leveraged with the proper logistics, support, intelligence and technology, they are lethal.
GodBlogCon II will hopefully expand upon the opportunities to build our relationships together. I recommend having people break out into different groups, such as: Polibloggers, Pastorbloggers, Religious Issues, etc. Within these groups, I strongly encourage having a time of prayer together. Praying for one another is one of the best ways of quickly building understanding and community. Such groups could then interchange members with the other groups for interesting discussions.
Breakout sessions, at the suggestion of Marvin Hutchens, could be "track" oriented for the different types of Christian bloggers at the conference. One conflict was having several breakout sessions, only being offered at the same time. Having different tracks would reduce this conflict. While I don't think tracks should be mandatory, they may be helpful in also building community as people get to know each other in smaller settings.
Focus on the future
I am very curious what can be done to advance the work of the Christian church community through the Internet. While I enjoyed hearing different bloggers' experiences, I longed for some energetic thoughts on what we can do together online. The net has an enormous potential for good and bad. The Christian community would be better served by focusing on larger, measurable goals. I regret that I do not have suggestions for what these goals may be, but welcome comments of those that do.
GodBlogCon 05 was a rich experience, and I look forward to the next convention. Hopefully we can all build upon the relationships started this year and be stronger as a community for next.
Update: A must read commentary on GodBlogCon can be found at Sheep's Crib (funny too). I strongly agree that more women bloggers and maybe even a women's blogging panel should be organized. I would love to see Lorie Byrd of PoliPundit at the convention next year.
Update 2: Pastor Tod Bolsinger's comments are a must read and say in a much better way what I was trying to express. (October 18, 2005)
I owe my readers a big Big apology for my absence in writing without giving an explanation to my seemingly online disappearance.
As you know, I am the proud father of a precious child, my dear Catherine. I have enjoyed spending this time with her. No event in my life has refocused my orientation and thinking like having a newborn that is fully dependent on her parents. There is no greater joy than being able to share time and love with my family. My wife and I feel extremely blessed with our daughter and have enjoyed our time together with her. I find myself often in tears just thinking about her when I find myself stuck on Southern California freeways or just looking at her precious blue eyes.
Along with the joy and challenge of starting a family, my work life became extremely challenging. I am a small business owner and seldom do I have the luxury of leaving the job behind. Between my daughter, my wife and my work, something in life had to give so I could get through this period of my life in a healthy way.
I froze out my blogging, not even checking my email, turning away so many friendships that I had made online. To those of you who were faithful readers or supporters of this blog and me and my family, I apologize. I am not sure exactly how I will work blogging into my life, but I can say that I want to return to doing it regularly.
I am sitting currently at the GodBlogCon gathering at Biola University. I have had an opportunity to meet many fine bloggers face to face and to renew ties with those from the SCBA. This conference has renewed my desire to reconnect and blog again.
Hopefully soon I will have something of value to say again. Thank you for your friendship and patience.
Thought I would point readers to some topics of interest from around the world.
Justin Blackburn has an interesting and witty piece on ID theft and the importing and exporting of vehicles across the US-Canadian border and what the Green Party is doing (not doing) about it.
Pastor Tod Bolsinger has a painful to read article about the practice of youth "cutting" themselves to relieve emotional pain. He links this post to his series on church division. I was not aware this was a problem among today's youth. It is a good post.
Global War on Terror
Bill Roggio follows up on Linda Foley's crazy comments with a PowerPoint presentation terrorists use in Iraq that calls for the targeting slaying of journalists in a combat zone.
John Schroeder comments on Hugh Hewitt's Friday radio program with a post on how the MSM is putting soldiers at risk.
The Acorn has two very interesting posts, the first on how China and India differ with respect to the blogosphere and the second on the different world support Japan and India have for a UNSC seat.
Justin Blackburn also has an excellent piece on revolts or "unrest" in rural China.
Adventures of Chester has a must read post on some very strange connections to the Spanish government on their 3/11 train explosion.
Posting a challenge for systems and network expert Daniel Abbot of tdaxp. This Economist article entitled "Musical Chairs: Musically, Britain is Europhile and France Europhobe" has a very interesting approach of following a Euro contest similar to American Idol to determine which countries' citizens are most in step with the heart of Europe based on voting patterns. DEL is curious of Dan's take on the study and if it matches at all with some of his modeling on Europe. I will update this post with Dan's comments.
Why do Americans work 5 or 6 weeks more than their European counterparts? The Economist argues peer pressure. I can't say I agree, but find the article on the whole fascinating with a good deal of interesting facts.
The Redhunter has a fascinating post on a British court that is holding the Saudi government liable for wrongful imprisonment and torture of three men.
It was a wonderful day in South Orange county today. My wife and I enjoyed brunch at our local pier watching the surfers ride some rather tall waves. I hope everyone else around the world enjoys their weekend, even if you are in Europe and work less to rest from. (just kidding). Enjoy!
Bill Roggio, a good friend to this blog by encouraging me and sending me good tips to write on (see example here) has been asked by Joe Katzman at Winds of Change to write regularly for his site. Bill has built an impressive site in his own right over at The Fourth Rail. Not wanting to let it go, he asked if I would join him and Marvin Hutchens of Little Red Blog along with current contributor Justin Blackburn to keep up a stimulating discussion on the War on Terror and future threats to liberty.
I was humbled by Mr. Roggio's kind invitation and after some careful thought decided it is a great opportunity to share and discuss my views on a wider stage. (His regular readership is 10 times DEL's currently, and his almost half-a-million visitors dwarfs my 29,000).
However, as Bill Roggio loves the Fourth Rail, I love Dawn's Early Light. Additionally, while some of my posts would be relevant for the Fourth Rail, others may not be. It is my plan to cross-post all items written at Fourth Rail to Dawn's Early Light and to have additional commentary at DEL on subjects such as religion, film, digital photography and other topics of personal interest.
If you have this site bookmarked, please consider adding the Fourth Rail as well because I know you will enjoy Justin, Marvin and Bill Roggio's commentary.
Thank you to all of my loyal Dawn's Early Light readers. I look forward to our continued discussions here and at the Fourth Rail.
Another blogger I greatly respect got me thinking about blogging and my goals with it. Knowing that Marvin is a thoughtful friend and clear thinker, I gave him a call to ask him his thoughts on a question I was wrestling with. His first question was, "Why do you blog?" This is a great question, one which I wonder how many bloggers have asked of themselves. There seem to be several reasons why one would choose to blog:
Fame or notoriety
Sharing of ideas
Sense of community or belonging
Promotion of an ideal or set of values
Hoping to make a difference
Profit (only a handful of bloggers are profitable)
Why I Blog
Since an early age, I have been overly interested in politics and history compared to my peers. At Occidental College, as a starting-out economics major, I realized that my professor's joke, "if you put all the world's economists end to end, you still wouldn't reach a conclusion," was fairly accurate in my mind. I didn't have the aptitude for it. However, my politics classes were extremely engaging, and I thrived on being with individuals who had a passion for discussing how the global order worked, what the Cold War was all about, Realism vs. Idealism vs. Marxism vs. all types of -isms and other seemingly arcane subjects. Very much at home was how I felt. I made Politics my major, focusing on International Relations Theory.
Leaving college and entering the business world, I missed the student interaction of people with different views and passionate arguments. I can count on one hand how many friends had patience to listen to me theorize on domestic or international relations. For the past decade, I have been a mass consumer of information on topics of interest:
Why nations war
Realism vs. Idealism - International Orders
US Foreign Policy goals
This blog is a natural progression of engaging in the larger debate, of being a part of something larger than oneself. I have met many extremely competent and intellectually challenging people with high personal integrity in the blogosphere. I am fortunate to have a group of bloggers who are supportive and encouraging. The interaction with all of them has made me a better blogger (with much room to grow) and spawned friendships around the world.
"'I must study politics and war so that my sons may have liberty - liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history... In order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music and architecture...' paraphrasing John Adams in a letter to his wife Abigail. The full quote can be found here.
The West finds itself at a crossroads. America finds herself at a crossroads. Decisions made now will affect generations to come. I pray we choose wisely, with conviction as a country, and lead those who will come along with strength, endurance and integrity.
I hope that this blog serves as a vehicle to refine my thinking and to contribute to the discussion about our nation's future. The generations before us have built a great democracy. It must be defended and preserved, such that freedom can be expanded to those who live without freedom, and to our generations to come."
The John Adams quote rings very true to me a little over six months on. I care deeply about America, its view of itself and place in the world. I pray for the future course of history and hope that my unborn daughter grows up in a world with all of the opportunities and possibilities that I have been blessed to enjoy.
This blog will not change the world, but it does have the ability to contribute positively to an important debate not only here in America, but around the world about freedom, democracy and values. Liberty is dear, and I am thankful for the freedom, paid for at great cost, that I can be a part of this international debate over the future of individual freedoms.
Your comments are very much appreciated and, as always, welcomed.
My wife and I are enjoying a nice Mother's Day in Palm Desert, California with both of our parents. Blogging today is accordingly light, but I did find some articles well worth taking a look at:
Eagle Speak has a good analysis of the summary report on the USS San Francisco submarine disaster that killed one serviceman and injured 97 of the crew members here.
Dan over at tdaxp discusses network-centric warfare (NCW) and 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) here. My question to Dan is while he believes the US does poorly with 4GW in Vietnam, Somalia and Lebanon, what about Afghanistan and Iraq?
Quillnews has a two-part post on the MSM and their "Bizzaro World" here and here.
Adventures of Chester made a good discovery and wrote an excellent post on a Tim Russert interview with a CIA operator who was in Afghanistan concerning joint interoperability of the CIA and US military and tribal forces here.
Good news in Iraq over at the WSJ from Arthur Chrenkoff.
Want to know 16 great things you can do with RSS feeds? Check here.
Wishing Lorie Byrd of Polipundit a happy Mother's Day. She is one of my favorite female bloggers.
My wife and I are enjoying the end of a three-day weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are celebrating her uncle's 70th birthday, which I hope to post on later. It has been truly a beautiful weekend. We rented a convertible to take in the low 80(F) degree weather and have enjoyed some beautiful scenery.
However, much is going on in the world and I though I would point you to some events worth following:
Dan over at tdaxp has a great systems analysis post based on a Tom Friedman-NYT editorial here. Thanks for getting my brain going on vacation Dan.
Powerline links to and provides commentary on an important report in the WaPo on the declining terrorist threat. This can only be because of Bush Administration successes, which are in stark contrast to media reports since 9/11.
Tom over at Redhunter has two recent posts that are well worth the read:
Patterico (hat tip: Instapundit) catches the LA Times at its usual bad reporting tricks with a distorted Reuters story (isn't that like Michael Moore putting his spin on a Barbara Boxer speech?) on the US-Italian Iraq shooting.
Pastor Tod Bolsinger has a post of a letter from a Marine who grew up as a missionary kid in Malawi. It is a thoughtful perspective on poverty and abundance.
Want to know how the War on Terror is going in Iraq and Afghanistan? Bill Roggio has the goods here and here respectively.
Citizen Z has some thoughts on reaching the tipping point of Main Stream Media and the new media era.