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And Now For Something Completely Familiar...

Some of you may have noticed that the main page at Wizbang seems somehow different.

In a nutshell, I've decided to focus on Wizbang and Wizbang Pop! The other sites, while still there, are being phased out. I won't go so far as to say that they are being permanently shuttered, but the focus will be on the aforementioned two sites, and there are no plans for the other sites.

The two sites I will be concentrating on will be getting a variety of upgrades and new features in the coming weeks. As always all of us who write at all of the Wizbang sites appreciate your support and patronage. We are committed to providing you the best opinion, analysis, and entertainment and lifestyle coverage possible.

Carry on...


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Comments (58)

Interesting move and probab... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Interesting move and probably a good one.

Focus is good. ... (Below threshold)
tyree:

Focus is good.

Does this mean the end of B... (Below threshold)
teebo:

Does this mean the end of Blue? Please say yes.

Goodbye Lee Ward.. Parting ... (Below threshold)
914:

Goodbye Lee Ward.. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Does this mean the end ... (Below threshold)
Kevin Author Profile Page:

Does this mean the end of Blue? Please say yes.

Yes.

Does this mean the end o... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Does this mean the end of Blue? Please say yes.

Yes.

*sniff, sniff*

Okay, moving on....

Does that mean Lee will be ... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

Does that mean Lee will be back here? OMG!!! This ought to be fun.

Getting rid of wizbang blue... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Getting rid of wizbang blue is a good thing.

I kind of liked Blue, as lo... (Below threshold)
AJ:

I kind of liked Blue, as long as it wasn't the screeching insanity of Ward's writing. The other contributers, especially Paul, had some good pieces. It's always good to get other points of view. I'd much rather get those points of view from Blue, instead of say, Kos or DU. Ah well.

Oh, god. Here comes Lee War... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Oh, god. Here comes Lee Ward, under six or seven pseudonyms. Just when I thought he was safely contained by giving him his own ward in the asylum.

Spittle and bile will be everywhere.

I believe Blue was was good... (Below threshold)
Eric:

I believe Blue was was good idea. I don't agree with shutting it down. That said, it did have one significant problem and that was Lee Ward.

A better solution to Blue would be to fire Lee and put somebody better in charge. While I disagree with Paul Hoosen on many things, he is intelligent, respectful and not a raving lunatic, in other words not Lee Ward.

I don't know if Paul would want that job, if not there must be a million other Left wingers who could run the site who aren't ignorant asses.

Wizbang Blue found wanting<... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Wizbang Blue found wanting
Now for weeping and gnashing
of thy deceitful teeth.

I agree with those above wh... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I agree with those above who thought Wizbang Blue served a purpose. Lee Ward was clearly the only significant problem. I feel Paul was making an effort to bring some civility to the site in contrast to Lee's twisted aggressiveness. I like to hear how folks on the left view the world and it was nice to have contrasting philosophies in such close cyber-proximity. Sad really. Maybe Blue can re-invent itself a bit like Sarah Palin (which would be wicked irony for Lee Ward).

I agree w/Eric - Lee's pret... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I agree w/Eric - Lee's pretty well unhinged. Paul at least is respectful, even if he disagrees, but Lee - hell, look at the wholesale banning he used to do. If you make your opposition unable to respond, you must be right about the issue!

I'll miss the Blue - but as the rule of blogs goes, it's your blog, your decision, and you've got your reasons for it.

Over on the Blue site Paul ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Over on the Blue site Paul Hooson wrote the following. . .

Hello Mac. I always appreciate your comments. Looks like I might be writing more of these nonpolitical pieces on the auto industry, Cds, DVDs, etc over at Wizbang Pop as it looks like the site publisher has offered me an invitation to continue to write there.

So it looks like Paul will still be writing his nonpolitical pieces on Wizbang Pop. Thanks Kevin for letting Paul continue in that role.

A while back I told Lee Ward that he needed to find a Section Editor for Wizbang Blue similar to what Maggie Whitton does for Wizbang. If authors of pieces are going to mix it up with commenters then an independent referee is needed to decide when to use the disemvoweler or to ban someone. As it was, way too many people got banned by Lee for things no different then what Lee was doing, such as calling Lee a liar; a label Lee used often against others. I don't know about others, but it's the diverse points of view and the ruff and tumble debate that brings me to these pages. Clear rules of engagement and an independent referee are must haves for any blog to gain readership, and without readership you might as well be writing to your diary.

I expect that Lee Ward was the Mr. Hyde embodiment of some Dr. Jekyll like person in the real world. To that real person I say thanks for your contributions. Even if I didn't agree, I always learned something from reading and commenting on Wizbang Blue.

Truth to be told, I never p... (Below threshold)
James H:

Truth to be told, I never paid much attention to Wizbang Blue. I only occasionally saw links from the main Wizbang page, but disregarded them in favor of the main blog. Have you considered revamping the Wizbang front page a bit? As a reader, I find that the links in the gray column tend to blend into the background, so I ignore them.

I never clicked through to ... (Below threshold)

I never clicked through to Blue as simply reading the clips on the main page showed all the rage and nastiness of all the other lefty sites. Basically, Blue brought nothing new to the conversation. You lose nothing in dropping it. Good decision. A little more at Pop would be nice.

Kevin,I always tho... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Kevin,

I always thought that the idea to create another side to Wizbang was a good one, but there was one reason why it never worked, and everyone knows what that reason is. I am still not sure how the "editor" over there was able to gain as much control over the content of that site that he did. There were some interesting authors at the start, but one by one they abandoned ship.

Ward was basically the same commenter that he was here a few years ago, just with the power to ban people left and right. I pretty much stopped even looking at the Blue side of the site because of how he ran the show, and was always wondering when the powers that be were going to drop in and pull the cord on him. I have also always wondered why it was Ward who got so much control of the site, and not someone like Mantis or Larkin. What happened to them?

With Lee in charge, the site became little more than a parody of an alternative viewpoint.

Still, there was potential there, and I do like the idea of having two perspectives on this site. I was kind of hoping for a coup d'état that would establish Blue as a more viable and respectable part of this site. Too bad it never happened.

Anyway, considering most of the nonsense that is posted over at Blue, and the absolute lack of growth in the content for the most part, I agree with your decision. I do think that Paul H. was working hard to keep the ship afloat, and that should be recognized. Only so much that one can do.

Too many copycat columns on... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Too many copycat columns on Wizbang main page is Wizbang's problem so Blue is not to blame for any traffic woes or failure to communicate a global vision on behalf of the owner, Kevin.

The main page is the inducement and the main page has been "stoved up". Combine all pages (Paul is your best author; he actually seems to have *done something* and *been places* in his life: that's good!)

Conclusion: the Wizbang main page readership-type is now in "turtle time" mode, to borrow a phrase from hockey. Expand your base. The Pop person can help by featuring a Girl of the Day pic. Airbrushed real estate ads??? What are we doin' here???

One alternative that would ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

One alternative that would allow you to ditch the Blue site and still be able to present altervative perspectives: add one or two editors/contributors to the main page. Just one idea. That would add something new to the main page content.

Wizbang Blue was always goo... (Below threshold)
Wordygirl:

Wizbang Blue was always good for a chuckle. It will be missed...

I would have few problems w... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

I would have few problems with Mr. Ward being "promoted" to the main page -- with one major caveat:

He have absolutely no power over editing or deleting comments, and kept completely away from the banning tools.

The sociopath wouldn't survive a week around here without his phallic compensation methods...

J.

There's a major problem wit... (Below threshold)
James H:

There's a major problem with presenting "two sides" on Wizbang's front page: This blog, for better or for worse, has established itself as a conservative site with an extremely partisan community of commenters. How many liberal bloggers, particularly quality liberal bloggers, would be willing to fill an Alan Colmes role here when they could find a far friendlier audience at other sites?

Jay Tea -- Is it j... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jay Tea --

Is it just me, or do you now spend more time on Oliver Willis's blog than here?

James, when I was a staffer... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

James, when I was a staffer here, I actively sought out a couple of liberals to present contrasting views. I roped "Pennywit" into contributing for a while, and lobbied "mantis" so hard I think I sprained both of our shoulders.

I liked the idea of an in-house "loyal opposition" -- it kept both sides sharp. As long as a certain level of civility and respect is maintained, it can work wonderfully. I think it's very valuable to have an ear on what "the other side" is thinking -- as well as a constant reminder that they are our rivals, not our enemies.

That entire paragraph is precisely why Mr. Ward would never survive on the main page. And why I would dearly, dearly love to see it happen.

J.

More time commenting, James... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

More time commenting, James, but not more time reading. Wizbang is still my home page.

I tend to go where I think I'm needed more than wanted. Over there, I can "fight the good fight." Here, there's not much call for my efforts -- the crew (authors old and new, as well as regular commenters) have things quite well in hand, and don't need my help.

Thanks for noticing, James...

Hey, Jay Tea -- what's your... (Below threshold)
James H:

Hey, Jay Tea -- what's your email address? Feel free to grab mine from the Wizbang log and contact me directly.

Jay Tea:"I liked t... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jay Tea:

"I liked the idea of an in-house "loyal opposition" -- it kept both sides sharp. As long as a certain level of civility and respect is maintained, it can work wonderfully. I think it's very valuable to have an ear on what "the other side" is thinking -- as well as a constant reminder that they are our rivals, not our enemies."

I agree with you completely, especially your last point. I think the rivals not enemies point gets lost on a lot of sites--Kos among them. Balance and opposing views are good for critical thinking and discussion. Having more than one side represented helps to balance the echo chamber effect. Unfortunately, Blue was never really able to build a strong community of contributors that could keep pace with the kind of cohesion that exists on the main site.

I like the idea of putting some opposing views on the main site, but I think that Ward is not the right one to put there. But, of course, I see why you would vote him in, just to see the frenzy ensue. Very sadistic of you, Mr Tea! Haha.

Seriously though, I think the idea of having opposing POV's still has a great deal of merit. I wonder what Kevin thinks about that.

James, I don't have access ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

James, I don't have access to the Wizbang logs any more. I'm as out as out can be. However, if you drop a comment on one of my articles over at Contentions (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/category/contentions/contentions?author_name=thayer), I'll get your e-mail address and can respond.

J.

Jay Tea: Done.... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jay Tea: Done.

Personally, I think Paul Ho... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Personally, I think Paul Hooson could survive on the main page, but he'd have to learn to link to sources OR be prepared to take a regular beating for not doing so. Given that he takes that beating on a regular basis, and with a modicum of grace, I'd bet on the latter. But, I think he'd have some value.

Jay, I sure like your idea ... (Below threshold)

Jay, I sure like your idea of allowing an in-house opposing viewpoint writer here. I'd be more than willing to volunteer for that duty for occasional posts. But, I'm also actually pretty happy to have been given the opportunity by Kevin to be posting entertainment, media and business features over at Wizbang Pop which is an excellent but underrated and under-read website. Tracey does a wonderful job over there and sure deserves far more readers than she now has.

I continually sought to expand the limits of Wizbang Blue by breaking new ground and attempting to expand it into more Cds, DVDs, music, motorcycles, automobiles, business and entertainment posts and to encourage more than just political readers to come over and take a look, making it look a little more like ROLLING STONE, NATIONAL LAMPOON, EASYRIDERS, MOTOR TREND and BUSINESS WEEK all combined. I wanted it to be cool, yet just irreverent enough to be funny, controversial, but always entertaining. Not stale. Not conservative in so many meanings.

Over at Wizbang Pop, I promise to bring plenty of fresh new edge there, along with a varied array of media, business and entertainment features.

I sure appreciate all the kind words from a few here. Wizbang Blue was an interesting struggle each day, finding something cool enough to keep the site interesting or fresh. I honestly believed it was getting better recently, as comments were picking up, and there was a lot more than just politics over there. It became the big city West Coast viewpoint of the world.

My more political pieces can still be found at my Progressive Values website. But Wizbang Pop will give me the opportunity to better cover some of my true loves such as music, film or business news.

Mr. Hooson, congratulations... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Mr. Hooson, congratulations on escaping the association with Mr. Ward. Keeping your shots up could NOT have been cheap.

J.

I thought Kevins' idea of h... (Below threshold)

I thought Kevins' idea of having both sides of
the political argument represented on Wizbang
was an innovative idea. True fairness and
equal access. An idea before its' time, so to
speak.

Lee Ward on the main page h... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Lee Ward on the main page here? I think it's a horrible idea. Lee has never simply offered a different point of view. Lee is confrontational, abrasive and ill-tempered. One could easily look down the right column of blurbs from the other Wizbang sections and, without exception, be able to pick which ones were Lee's just by the title. If he were on the main page, I would seriously begin to question Kevin's decision to allow him there and look for somewhere else to make home.

My dear Oyster, I sympathiz... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

My dear Oyster, I sympathize. But think for a moment -- how long would Ward last with THIS crew of commenters (myself included), and without his cudgel of banning? How long would he last before he snapped and went completely over the edge and Kevin got rid of him, or he quit?

It's the very definition of "red meat," my dear Oyster -- a car wreck that we could all slow down and gawk at, without the icky guilt associated with real accidents.

Indeed, we could take pride in our involvement in that particular wreck. It would be a true Roman circus event.

J.

Lee Ward on the ma... (Below threshold)
Eric:
Lee Ward on the main page here? I think it's a horrible idea.

I agree that would be a horrible idea.

Jay Tea, I seldom disagree with you, but in this case I very much do so. This site does not need an irrational demagogue.

I understand you, but Kevin already gave him a chance to succeed. He obviously failed. Why reward him with a second chance?

james h - "How many lib... (Below threshold)
Marc:

james h - "How many liberal bloggers, particularly quality liberal bloggers, would be willing to fill an Alan Colmes role here when they could find a far friendlier audience at other sites?"

Horse hockey.

The vast majority of "liberal" commenters here are of the troll variety and offer a near zero ability to actually conduct an honest debate.

There's no campaign afoot to disallow "quality liberal bloggers" they are free to enter and debate to their hearts content and I suspect by and large they would be treated with respect and lively debates would ensue.

That they don't says nothing about Wizbang or the authors that reside here.

Marc:I did not say... (Below threshold)
James H:

Marc:

I did not say that Wizbang hosts a "campaign to disallow 'quality liberal bloggers,'" but rather that a quality liberal blogger would likely find Wizbang an extremely hostile environment.

I think Lee Ward is the nam... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

I think Lee Ward is the name of a part some otherwise respectable person was playing. I find it improbable that anyone who takes themselves seriously could be so consistently immune to logic. It had to be a shtick and the person behind it someone known to many of us. It's probably the longest running April fools joke in history. To that person I say bravo.

There's no campaign afoo... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

There's no campaign afoot to disallow "quality liberal bloggers" they are free to enter and debate to their hearts content and I suspect by and large they would be treated with respect and lively debates would ensue.

The problem I'm seeing with liberal blogging sites is that their positions aren't based on facts, it's based on the feelings that are shared by the community. You see the frothing on Kos and DU - there's little to no possibility that they're going to accept their ideas are anything but correct. To even question the ideas, much less attempt to think otherwise, would 'sever' the bonds with their community.

Honestly, the fact she's Republican is what does it for me. This is the party that openly, gleefully hates women, openly gleefully hates homosexuals, openly gleefully promotes the murder of doctors brave enough to provide abortion services, openly and gleefully hates the poor, openly and gleefully believes in some sky fairy that thinks I'm inferior to men etc etc etc.
It's kind of hard to get any sort of reasonable dialog going when there's no desire to get a dialog going, and a LOT of hard-set unquestionable beliefs that would preclude any sort of communication at all.

Keep in mind that when I ta... (Below threshold)
James H:

Keep in mind that when I talk about "quality liberal bloggers," I'm certainly not referring to the denizens of Daily Kos and DU. I'm thinking more of Matthew Yglesias, Kevin Drum, and Ezra Klein.

I think Lee Ward is the ... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

I think Lee Ward is the name of a part some otherwise respectable person was playing. I find it improbable that anyone who takes themselves seriously could be so consistently immune to logic. It had to be a shtick and the person behind it someone known to many of us. It's probably the longest running April fools joke in history. To that person I say bravo.

Mac, I too have thought that for a long time. I always thought Lee could be JayTea's alter ego and assumed it was he who was playing us.

Either way, Lee has no place on the main page or any page associated with Wizbang. He eschews logic and spits venom at those who disagree with him. His constant drumbeat over at Blue was to label every Republican a racist who dared speak out against Obama and his policies. His rage against Sarah Palin was disgusting and endless, he was obsessed and this website is better off without him. While I disagreed with Paul in nearly everything, he is not nearly as unhinged as lee and can hold intelligent debates. He would be a welcome contributor to the main page as well at Pop. Although like SCSIwuzzy says above, Paul needs to work on his linking ability.

For the record, I am not "L... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

For the record, I am not "Lee Ward," never have been, and if I ever did act like him, someone please shoot me.

I preferred to think of him as my mirror image; opposite in every way. Me with a goatee, perhaps.

And let me reiterate: my endorsing Mr. Ward for posting privileges on the main page -- with the very important caveat that he have NO ability to control comments or implement bans -- would be the most spectacular slow-motion car crash imaginable. Without his authoritarian tools to enforce compliance with his wishes, he'd crumble and dissolve into a complete intellectual collapse and emotional meltdown.

And that, my friends, former colleagues, and fondly-missed commenters, would be sheer delight to watch.

Even more for those of us who'd be throwing gas on that fire.

Yes, that's a bit petty and vindictive of me. So be it.

J.

Jay,First let me s... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Jay,

First let me say I never thought Lee Ward was your Mr. Hyde, but he is someone's Mr. Hyde or shtick.

Without his authoritarian tools to enforce compliance with his wishes, he'd crumble and dissolve into a complete intellectual collapse and emotional meltdown.

Before there was Wizbang Blue Lee Ward did comment on these pages without any of the "authoritarian tools to enforce compliance" and he offered a different point of view and seemed reasonably able to defend his points. Only when he was given control of Wizbang Blue did he become totally immune to reason. At least that's how I remember it.

FWIW, my comment about Jay ... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

FWIW, my comment about Jay being Lee was with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek.

he offered a different point of view and seemed reasonably able to defend his points. Only when he was given control of Wizbang Blue did he become totally immune to reason. At least that's how I remember it.

I actually remember it differently. I remember his comments and engagements before Blue and while he may have had some reasonable comments, he certainly displayed the unhinged characteristics that only grew exponentially over at Blue. I think it would be interesting to see him commenting over here on the main page.

Jay Tea, I remember Lee War... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Jay Tea, I remember Lee Ward from several years back, when we had a long-winded argument about whether logins and user accounts should be required. Kevin decided against it, and I left for about a year. The atmosphere around here was just too poisonous.

If Lee Ward starts showing up here again, the same thing is going to happen, probably with the same result. He brings hate speech with him, and I personally want nothing to do with him. I don't think I'm alone.

I notice that out of 57 com... (Below threshold)
Eric:

I notice that out of 57 comments in this thread and that thread there are no comments defending Lee.

I find it improbable tha... (Below threshold)

I find it improbable that anyone who takes themselves seriously could be so consistently immune to logic. It had to be a shtick and the person behind it someone known to many of us. It's probably the longest running April fools joke in history. To that person I say bravo.

If it that were the case, Mac, I would think Andy Kaufman had been reincarniated. However, Lee's level of cleverness never extended outside of him using the Caribbean island-esque nome de plume of "Lee Ward."

The attempt was made. Kudo... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

The attempt was made. Kudos for that.

I will say, however, that, at least to me, Blue was nothing more than distracting headlines on the right side of the main page devolving into the mere existence of "shock." The same 3-6 people writing, whining, and commenting on eachothers works had not a grab 'em by the scruff and pull 'em in sort of allure.

The few times I attempted to post there, my comments were promptly taken down, with no reason given.

It was not a failure of idea or attempt, but of the attitude behind the blue wheel.

As far as I am concerned, Wizbang has nothing to prove. The availability of differing opinions is so widely accessable in this medium, this site stands strongly on its own merits.

We have a highly educated, very expressive readership on both sides of the aisle, who contribute to the forensics in such a way that an entire entity, or even main-page accessability to a contrary point of view is not needed.

Wizbang has evolved into an informative, educational, highly interactive place. The site fits into its right-leaning cove perfectly. Its content is not hateful. Its survival does not depend on allowing "another" side to flourish.

Confusion in identity is not what we need. We are what we are and should be damned proud of it.

-Shawn

james h - "but rather t... (Below threshold)
Marc:

james h - "but rather that a quality liberal blogger would likely find Wizbang an extremely hostile environment."

And that is precisely what I disputed, show where that may be true.

As JT noted he convinced Pennywit, a noted liberal, to add content here.

Go ahead find in this long list of her posts where she was consistently treated in the manner you suggest.

Um... Marc, it might come a... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Um... Marc, it might come as news to The Author Formerly Known As Pennywit that they are of the distaff persuasion.

Having met said person for lunch one time, I feel moderately comfortable in stating that said blogger was a he.

Not that I verified it beyond a shadow of a doubt, but on first impression, I was fairly certain he was a he.

Dude did NOT look like a lady...

J.

Jay Tea's been reading Shaw... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Jay Tea's been reading Shaw or Wodehouse or he's making fun of King George V, either one.

Combine all boards.

Get rid of Ward over at Blu... (Below threshold)

Get rid of Ward over at Blue, replace him with bryanD. Now THAT oughta liven things up a bit.

OK, I'm confessing. I'm ind... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

OK, I'm confessing. I'm indulging my inner bomb-thrower here.

But damn, doesn't it sound tempting as all hell?

J.

There was one admitted regi... (Below threshold)
Hot and humid:

There was one admitted registered democrat among the main board contributors. What happened to him?

Shawn,My thoughts ... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

Shawn,

My thoughts exactly. For about two weeks I tried to become a commentor over at Wizbangblue. I thought my posts were respectful even though they disagreed. Each time Lee Ward came back with a response to my comment, I responded again.

Pretty soon it became a sort of, "If you respond with the same thing again, you're a liar!"

To which i'd respond again attempting to point out what I believed to be the flaw in Lee's argument and the strength in my own.

It wasn't long before he called me a liar and said liars needed to be banned. Thus I was banned.

Then, as you mentioned, Wizbangblue became annoying headlines on the right side of the page.

Get rid of Ward ov... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:
Get rid of Ward over at Blue, replace him with bryanD. Now THAT oughta liven things up a bit.

I dunno, WizbangBatSh!tCrazy doesn't have the same ring to it...




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