Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Joe's Neighborhood, &tc.

Joe Weeg writes primarily and skillfully about people, rather than buildings, politics and personal opinion --- which is why I'm a new fan of his blog, Joe's Neighborhood. It's easy to ramble on about some of the latter, more of a challenge to pull off the former.

The Neighborhood is mostly Des Moines, understandable since before retirement Weeg spent more than 30 years as a Polk County prosecutor. Most likely he's gained a good many other fans, too, since Cityview, which describes itself as "Central Iowa's Independent (and free) Weekly," began featuring his blog entries.

The blog has been online only since May, so it's possible, and worthwhile, to browse back to the beginning. He seems to shoot for one entry a week, so the number of posts is not intimidating.

I'm a fairly faithful reader of Cityview, too --- this week's edition just hit the Internet this morning. It's light and lively and generally progressive.

Plus, it offers a chance to get a weekly dose of Brian Duffy's editorial cartooning.

Brian Duffy, for the uninitiated, was The Des Moines Register's longtime editorial cartoonist, carrying on a century-old tradition of a front-page cartoon in every edition. Jay N. "Ding" Darling was the first cartoonist, his assistant Harold I. "Tom" Carslisle, briefly the second, then Frank Miller and finally Duffy, commencing in 1983.

The Register dismissed Duffy and a variety of other staffers abruptly during 2008, thus eliminating one of the few things than had made the newspaper Iowa once depended upon distinctive. Duffy has continued to draw and comment, however, syndicating his work --- including to the Chariton newspapers.


And then there's Michael P. Libbie's weekly "Sunday Morning Coffee," which as Libbie describes it is all about "politics, gossip and (progressive) opinion." If you don't like politics, you probably won't appreciate it --- but as a rule it does appear only once a week, so the dose is measured. Here's a small dose of this week's edition that I liked:

"Moments after the election the "finger pointing" began. Political observers were quick to suggest that the Republican Party needed to "change their ways" in order to come into line with the changing face of the United States. That a party made up of "old white guys" does not reflect the values of our nation. And on it went. I disagree. I believe the GOP needs to stay the course. They need to be more concerned with the uterus than with jobs. They need to be more concerned with "welfare queens" than finding answers to poverty. They need to continue to work on defining love and marriage only as they see fit. They need to continue to propose fiscal policy that rewards the wealthy and reduces the middle class to serfs. They need to continue to alienate Latinos and call for fences, walls and no path to citizenship. They need to continue to hold to their firm "Christian Agenda" and replacement theology ideals. My not...under any circumstance change and move one inch to the left. Stay the course my good brothers...stay the course."

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