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Monday, June 13, 2005

Voice of the Anglosphere

Silent Running is an increasingly popular group blog featuring Americans, Australians and New Zealanders. The growing readership is "American, with a sizeable minority of Australians/New Zealanders, with a handful of Europeans and Israelis thrown in," reports team blogger Tom Payne. Their work comes with a festive warning: "If you are offended by strong right wing views and bad language, you should probably sod off now and go hug a tree." They're smart and funny, and they take no prisoners. But if they did, Amnesty International almost certainly would find something to complain about. "Payne" (that's his blogging identity) does a terrific weekly podcast featuring the Silent Running's perspective on issues of the day. The Sunday, June 12 edition features an interview with the marvelously articulate and unapologetically conservative African American writer LaShawn Barber, as well as a conversation with me about my recent manifesto Leaving the Left. Post script: In my conversation with Payne I referred to my former boss, retired U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum, as author of federal legislation that created the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in Ohio. Correction: Metzenbaum didn't sponsor that bill. Rather, it was during Metzenbaum's tenure that the U.S. Park Service implemented a destructive property acquisition plan for CVNRA in the name of the Greater Public Good. At the time I urged my senatorial boss to side with the property owners, but he chose not to take on that cause. This wasn't surprising, given Metzenbaum's career-long empathy for federal plans in general. I ceased sharing that empathy as a result of the Park Service's tyranny toward homeowners within CVNRA boundary lines. In the interview with Tom Payne I discuss that fiasco and how it led me to reconsider my longstanding assumptions about the beneficence of federal environmental regulation.