This month marks Blue Wren's third blogoversary. My very first post was on April 5th, 2006, actually, so I missed the Big Day, but I've always had a terrible time remembering birthdays, anniversaries and the like so I'll give myself a pass.
Since then, I've posted 535 times and Blue Wren has collected 44,119 "hits." I know – not many when compared to blogs like Daily Kos, Eschaton, and Firedoglake, but I'm happy. I have a few regular readers who comment occasionally. Who needs more? I consider each of you friends.
My first first post on Blue Wren was short. "Hello, world. This is Wren," it was titled:
"I'm Wren. I'm an American, a disgruntled Democrat, a veteran, a Mom, a wife, an artist and a journalist, a non-believer. I've never been political. But I can't sit silent and watch while America is taken over by the religious right and our democracy and great Constitution are shredded away by inches.
"I'm deeply worried about America. I don't want to see the day come when we find ourselves, by virtue of our silence, powerless subjects of an imperial theocracy. I have a lot of questions and not much in the way of answers. But I have a sharp, questing mind and increasingly, feel compelled to speak out.
"And so, I'll blog. I hope to get a good conversation going here so that perhaps, between us, we can find our way home."
The second post was a story about a visit that I and some friends made to East Germany in 1990, a few months after the Berlin Wall fell.
In that first month, I wrote posts about my concern over the war in Iraq, about how America had changed since 9/11 and the frightening idiocy of the Bush Administration's nuclear sabre-rattling at Iran. I also told the story of how Mr. Wren and I met, and his fabulous-but-smelly musical abilities. I wrote about our chickens, affectionately and collectively named "The Girls." I wrote about the Japanese maple outside my bathroom window, and about the connection I discovered between my dog and "The Emissary," an old Ray Bradbury short story I read years ago.
In the months that followed those first tentative posts, George W. Bush and his administration fed more and more of our Constitution into the shredder. I wasn't alone in my unease at the dark, violent road my country was taking into the New Millennium. Millions of other Americans were also appalled, and when the 2006 mid-term elections came around, we spoke out decisively through our votes and tossed a bunch of the Congressional bums we were saddled with out and voted a bunch of saner people in.
Since then, bloggers have become a force to reckon with in America. A lot of them, like myself, started blogging because we felt that as citizens, we had no "voice" anymore. The news media we relied upon for a truthful and balanced account of what our leaders were doing in our names was falling down, shamefully, on the job. Under Bush, many people were afraid to speak publicly about their opposition to the needless war in Iraq, the warrantless wiretapping, and the ongoing destruction of our civil liberties.
Blogging gave those of us who love to write an outlet for our thoughts and opinions. It still does.
I supported Barack Obama for president wholeheartedly and voted for him in last November. He went into office facing a huge task: fixing an economy that had been looted with gleeful, greedy abandon during the Bush years; a huge deficit that now can only grow huger because of the need to stimulate the economy so that it doesn't collapse entirely; changing the course of the country in terms of its relationship with the rest of the world; reworking how we react to and fight terrorism; how we can best protect ourselves and maintain our national security without being bloodthirsty warmongerers; and and yes, how to restore and protect our Constitution, our precious civil rights and our very democracy.
I think President Obama has done a fine job so far in most of those areas. He hasn't been in office very long yet, and none of this can be accomplished overnight. The economy, in particular, is in such gargantuan trouble that it's almost unbelievable.
But we haven't found our way home yet.
Like many other progressive Democrats, I'm deeply concerned about and disappointed in the Obama administration's latest moves regarding warrantless wiretapping and the declassification and release of important documents regarding the Bush administration's torture policies. I want the wiretapping to stop, and I want those who made "torture" synonymous with "America" brought to justice and punished.
But I'm not ready to condemn Obama – not yet. I believe there's a lot we don't know – and a lot that the Obama administration doesn't know and is still finding out about regarding the nasty, quicksand swamp that was the Bush torture policy and its policy of spying on Americans. That not knowing – or perhaps discovering far worse things than we can imagine – may be what's preventing Obama from taking the steps toward governmental transparency that he promised during his campaign.
So far, we haven't received a good explanation for that lack of transparency. We haven't received a good explanation for his administration's seeming decision to go along with, continue and even expand Bush's policies in warrantless wiretapping and presidential imperial power. This is truly, deeply upsetting.
I'll be writing more about those subjects in the future. That's why I created Blue Wren in the first place – so I could give voice to my opinions. But I've never been so partisan that I couldn't perceive my own party's failings, and I'll not start being that way now. Obama has achieved many good things since he took office on Jan. 21, and he's done some things I'm not so happy about, too. I expected that, to be honest. He's not going to be able to please all of us. Democracy is slow and it's quite messy.
But I still have hope.
Thanks to all of you who've read my posts over the years. And a special thanks to those who've read them and then commented, too. I can't begin to describe how much I love being part of this new, fluid form of communication – or how much I appreciate all of you.