Last December I received an invitation from Travis Mateer (aka Will Skink) to have a podcast conversation, which I readily accepted. We ended up talking for 90 minutes, and as a result I have a long list of things I have to look into. Travis and I don’t agree on everything (“Where all think alike, no one thinks very much” – Walter Lippman), and I have pledged to keep an open mind on the things that we do not see eye-to-eye on.
I started the Piece of Mind blog in 2006 when I lived in Bozeman, Montana. At that time, the Montana blogosphere was very active, even somewhat influential. The Montana Democratic Party had moved into blogging forcefully with two apparatchiks, Jay Stevens and Matt Singer, who formed a blog called Left in the West. Their task, their raison d’etre in my view, was Jon Tester, who would be narrowly elected US Senator in 2006. Tester sold himself as an environmentalist and progressive, and then as quickly ditched both groups after attaining office. This led to a dip in his support, so that when he ran for reelection in 2012, he eked in due to dark money injected into his campaign. It was a very professional scam on the Montana Libertarian Party, using an industry front group called Montana Hunters and Anglers to run $2 million plus in advertising urging voters to support Dan Cox, Libertarian. Cox ended up with 6.6% of the vote, mostly drawn off Tester’s Republican opponent, Dennis Rehberg. This allowed Tester a victory with 48.6% of the vote.
Third party politics is basically a soap box on a street corner, sometimes used by the big parties to siphon votes to favor one or the other. Thus spaketh the former Nader guy.
Jon Tester is a corrupt politician, but I repeat myself. Jay Stevens would later turn up at another blog, a lively one called 4&20 Blackbirds. If memory services, this is where I first encountered Travis/Skink, who was a writer for that blog. Stevens, in typical Democratic fashion, shut down the blog when it failed to toe the D line. I had long before noticed that Democrats are autocratic and authoritarian, at least at the leadership level. I ran as a Democrat for state legislature in 1996, and still have that not-so-fresh feeling, not about my opponent, a nice lady who won hands down and never resorted to anything dishonest (she didn’t have to!). It was Democrats who left me stone cold and disillusioned. (I remember one of my fellow candidates at a meeting, an Hispanic woman, complaining about one of the Republican candidates passing also as Hispanic. “SHE’S BLACK!!!” she cried out at the meeting. So much for progressives in the Democratic party.
Anyway, Travis turned up with his own blog, Reptile Dysfunction, and we’ve come to blows on occasion, but lately have backed off all of it and decided to get along. He lives in Missoula, Montana, and his blog is centered on that city and its power structure. Travis is a good writer, and Skink a fine poet.
I hope you take time to listen to the podcast, and to pay regular visits to Reptile Dysfunction, listed on our blogroll.