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Why No Righty Kos? (More Navel Gazing and Free Republic Bashing)
TownHall.com ^ | Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Patrick Ruffini

Posted on 09/08/2007 5:16:05 AM PDT by kristinn

Liberaltarian ex-Daily Kos diarist David Weigel and Newsbusters are engaged in a debate over why there is no right-wing Daily Kos.

My answer, as articulated here is that there is a conservative Daily Kos, that’s it’s Free Republic, but that it doesn’t really “count” since it’s not a blog, and more critically, it won’t play nicely with the rest of the movement and it doesn’t worship candidates like Kos does.

There are vast architectural differences between FR and Kos, as critics of this comparison are wont to point out. Most of them are points in Kos’s favor. But fundamentally they were founded to fill the same gap. At the end of the day, they are both vast communities for mid-level activists. Though Kos is more blog-based and tolerant of editorializing, Weigel is perceptive enough to distinguish it from “a blog” a la Power Line or HughHewitt.com, in which the voice of the blogger dominates and others comment (or don’t, in the case of some big conservative bloggers). Daily Kos is simply a different beast than anything else in the liberal blogosphere, in much the same way that Free Republic is a different beast than anything else in the conservative blogosphere. But in terms of traffic and community, it’s still the biggest. The same item that will get a handful of comments at my personal blog and 30 to 40 on HughHewitt.com, will get upwards of 100 responses when posted to Free Republic. FR may be primitive in its architecture, but I don’t think it can be ipso facto excluded from discussions about the size and extent of conservative community online, for the sheer fact of its size.

Part of the reason that there is no “conservative Daily Kos” is that the broader conservative movement isn’t really lacking for a huge online community in the same way the left was in 2002 (DU was, and is, a joke). That community may not be the healthiest one around, but it’s still a community.

The second fact is that conservative blogs, excluding Free Republic/Lucianne/etc. for a moment, serve a fundamentally different audience than the netroots. They’re more elite, focused on policy, and interested in the execution of the war. What was going on when conservative blogs first boomed? 9/11 and the American response to it. And discussions of the size of the conservative blogosphere (strictly defined) should take into account the fact that there are only so many people who can digest the kind of almost-scholarly analysis that happens in places like Power Line, Captain’s Quarters, and Red State. The conservative blogosphere today is what the liberal blogosphere would have been if elite bloggers like Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias had remained the dominant voices.

This is not meant to be self-congratulatory. In fact, I think it’s probably a serious limitation in the size of our blogosphere, to the extent that’s a concern. If you want to be bigger, you’re not necessarily going to like the people you have to let in to make it happen. If and when that were to happen, the elite flavor of many leading conservative blogs today would give way to more freewheeling Daily Kos and Free Republic-like sites and comment areas.

I think it’s probably worth paying that price if we can get people acting like true activists. Conservatives have paid a price for being inattentive to candidate recruitment and what’s actually going on at the county committee level. In effect, we allowed the unchecked rise of machine operators like Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, and John Doolittle who sacrificed conservative principle for back-scratching enrichment. One of the big reasons why Larry Craig won’t be missed is that he was uninspiring career politician (and porker) with no discernible ideological moorings (beyond the political leanings of his state). It’s those kinds of machine pols that always seem to the problem, and we let them flourish by being pundits on the sidelines.

I also think conservative blogosphere has misread the marketplace. To make a crass overgeneralization here, policy is boring and politics is interesting. By blogging about policy, you choose to be boring (and that’s ok). There is probably a much bigger marketplace for people focused on elections, especially in even numbered years. (And this is Kos’s primary purpose.) Why is it that we start talking about Presidential elections two years ahead of time? Because it sells newspapers. The blogosphere overall is stagnating, but if you want to start a new blog that will get read, your best bet is 1) obsessively cover 2008 and be good at it, and 2) fill a niche, especially one covering local politics.

The ‘08 blogs like Race 4 2008 and Eye on ‘08 will probably be in five figures in daily traffic by early next year. To give you a sense of the insane community that is building around a focused group blog like Race, take a look at their 700 comment thread during the debate. There is a market there. And a lot of passion too.

So let’s follow it.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Free Republic; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: fr; freerepublic; kos; newmedia; ruffini; weblogs
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Ay carumba......Sorry to post and run again, but I'm off to do some more activism this morning so that all the other conservatives coming to the Gathering of Eagles next weekend will feel like we 'play nicely' with them.
1 posted on 09/08/2007 5:16:07 AM PDT by kristinn
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To: kristinn
No conservative Kos? Please. We own the Internet.
2 posted on 09/08/2007 5:17:34 AM PDT by pnh102
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To: kristinn

Ruffini really has a **** ** for FR, doesn’t he?


3 posted on 09/08/2007 5:18:49 AM PDT by sauropod (You canít spell crap without the AP in it.)
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To: kristinn
FR may be primitive in its architecture

Primitive? Hmph! So even a caveman could figure it out, I suppose?
4 posted on 09/08/2007 5:23:09 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia (You know a liberal has lost the argument when he calls you a Nazi.)
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To: kristinn

I find this Patrick Ruffini boring, and hardly worth mention.


5 posted on 09/08/2007 5:24:21 AM PDT by dforest (Duncan Hunter is the best hope we have on both fronts.)
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To: indylindy

Isn’t Ruffini a Rudybot?


6 posted on 09/08/2007 5:29:33 AM PDT by madprof98 ("moritur et ridet" - salvianus)
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To: 1 Olgoat; 103198; 10Ring; 11Bush; 1stbn27; 2ndClassCitizen; 2SterlingConservatives; 2yearlurker; ...

DC Chapter ping


7 posted on 09/08/2007 5:30:55 AM PDT by BufordP (Had Mexicans flown planes into the World Trade Center, Jorge Bush would have surrendered.)
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To: madprof98

I am not sure... but that would be a sound guess based on the content of this piece.

He can dis FR, but it still won’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! That being Rooty, of course.


8 posted on 09/08/2007 5:32:27 AM PDT by dforest (Duncan Hunter is the best hope we have on both fronts.)
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To: kristinn
Primitive?!!? I LOVE this structure - it is easy to follow conversations and comments to comments. When they're all just stacked in order that they were posted with no link between them, it's very hard to track the conversations.

FR has the best format on the web!

9 posted on 09/08/2007 5:36:37 AM PDT by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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To: SW6906

Dan Rather wishes FR didn’t exist when his falsehoods were uncovered. I personally think that FR is frontline with news and commentary that means something.


10 posted on 09/08/2007 5:42:37 AM PDT by Thebaddog (My dogs are asleep paws up)
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To: kristinn
Absolutely! Everyone knows we should do mindless activism and not policy; i.e., engage in serious thinking about issues and the world. /sarc
11 posted on 09/08/2007 5:43:08 AM PDT by Stepan12 ( "We are all girlymen now." Conservative reaction to Ann Coulter's anti PC joke)
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To: kristinn

“To give you a sense of the insane community that is building around a focused group blog like Race, take a look at their 700 comment thread during the debate.”

Written by a man who seems to be unaware our thread with a pantload more than 700 comments (2132 to be precise).


12 posted on 09/08/2007 5:44:53 AM PDT by Poser (Willing to fight for oil)
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Wonder how many times Ruffini has been banned.


13 posted on 09/08/2007 5:45:08 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: SW6906

Oh, I very much agree!
And there’ no CLUTTER on the screen...ads, avatars, etc...just the occasional and necessary pictures posted by members. I love this place.
Plus, (not that I use mine much), but we each get our own home-page and there’s FReepmail. We can post with HTML code - or not. I don’t know, but do the other places offer that?
FReeRepublic’s got it going on.


14 posted on 09/08/2007 5:54:43 AM PDT by babyfreep ( Duncan Hunter Fan!)
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To: kristinn
Why no righty Kos? Cuz we're not foul-mouthed enough...?

"Seven words you can never say on television"... but which are said on the Internet. A lot.

15 posted on 09/08/2007 5:55:15 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: SW6906

It also loads and operates quickly, something that is immediately noticeable when used by those with a dial-up connection or mobile cellular device. There are some interesting sites out there political and otherwise, but the content is just sometimes shoot-yerself sloow, when all we’re really interested in is *text*. Pre-www, many sites were simple and quick to use, now they are memory-hogs that do little to add in the way of content or utility.

Google to their credit, haven’t messed up a good thing.


16 posted on 09/08/2007 5:57:12 AM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: SW6906
When they're all just stacked in order that they were posted with no link between them, it's very hard to track the conversations.

Absolutely! It's the best I've seen. On most of the boards you have no idea who is replying to whom. Here, there is not doubt. And to be able to link back the the original post or to all replies is great! Most of the other boards just aggravate me.

17 posted on 09/08/2007 5:57:40 AM PDT by CaptRon (Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
Primitive? Hmph! So even a caveman could figure it out, I suppose?

The "primitive" (I would use the term "user-friendly") architecture gives FR a great advantage over the blogs. It allows the membership here to be MUCH more interactive and collaborative than elsewhere - creating a "sum is greater than the parts of the whole" situation.

The problem with blogs is that they tend to be centered on either the one person (kos) or the select few people (mydd) who are actually posting material/articles, and there generally isn't a lot of interaction between those who post responses.

kos, etc are more like the kids on campus that would stand up on soapboxes reading political statements and manifesto to a small crowd. FR is like a bunch of people sitting around a table working to hash something out. The result is that FR can produce better and faster analyses than kos could ever hope to.
18 posted on 09/08/2007 5:59:13 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: SW6906

I didn’t take “primitive” as being a dis. I think he meant it as this site has a very basic architecture for hosting our format. Sometimes the simplest way is the best.


19 posted on 09/08/2007 5:59:18 AM PDT by rabidralph
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To: kristinn

RIGHT-—
Libertypost.org 157,700
Lucianne.com 299,600
Libertyforum.org 132,800
Clownposse.org 010,300
Littlegreenfootballs.com 603,400
Freerepublic.com 1,308,300

LEFT-—
Democraticunderground.com 792,600
Dailykos.com 2,048,900

Alexa has freerepublic ranked at 7784, DailyKos ranked at 4720 and DU ranked at 11,109.


20 posted on 09/08/2007 6:06:36 AM PDT by Nephi ( $100m ante is a symptom of the old media... the Ron Paul Revolution is the new media's choice.)
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To: kristinn
I think it’s probably worth paying that price if we can get people acting like true activists. Conservatives have paid a price for being inattentive to candidate recruitment and what’s actually going on at the county committee level. In effect, we allowed the unchecked rise of machine operators like Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, and John Doolittle who sacrificed conservative principle for back-scratching enrichment.

He's right about this. Run for an office and encourage good local conservatives to do the same. Every real candidate drains the "opposition," whether liberal Republicans or Dems, of resources to fight for that seat, whether you win or lose.

21 posted on 09/08/2007 6:07:27 AM PDT by Greg F (Duncan Hunter is a good man.)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

As a caveman I’m offended (but I agree).


22 posted on 09/08/2007 6:14:00 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (Hunter 2008)
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To: SW6906
I do miss the linking that was removed several years ago - where you could click on the "TO: FRUser" and you would jump to the comment the current comment was directed at.  It made it much easier to follow an idea through large thread.
23 posted on 09/08/2007 6:22:04 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: Poser

Then there’s LGF (www.littlegreenfootballs.com) where 1,000 plus comment threads are relatively common.

(And no, it’s not a hate site, it’s an anti-terrorism pro-America pro-Israel site.)


24 posted on 09/08/2007 6:23:39 AM PDT by piytar
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To: kristinn
Kos vs. Freepers is nothing more than an internet version of CNN vs. Fox News. Liberals like hype, pomp and circumstance, and smoke an mirrors. They are not worried about content. I like the fact Freepers is simple, the points get across and you can argue your point either way. Of course the typical liberal response would be, “It’s so simple cause conservatives are to stupid to know how to operate something difficult.” My response to them would be,”Liberals are to worried about looking good than actually doing good, so who is the real moron here.” Either way, there are some fantastic concservative blogs LGF, Free Conservatives, Free Republic etc. the only liberal blog that gets any kind of attention is Kos. Hmmm, kinda makes you think.
25 posted on 09/08/2007 6:27:54 AM PDT by Seabee133
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To: rabidralph

I agree with your interpretation of “primitive” in the article. I also agree with your assessment of freerepublic’s architecture.

A noob recently started a thread suggesting that freepers be able to rate the posts of other freepers. Poor guy. He took it like a man.

I agree with his suggestion, though.

As Kristinn explained on the O’Reilly Factor, freerepublic doesn’t have the budget to moderate freepers like they may want to. A rating system might work to freerepublic’s advantage. Most freepers are governed by a sense of honor that would self replicate in a voluntary ranking system. On the DailyKos, it might have the opposite effect, the more outrageous and vitriolic, the higher your ranking.

Ranking criteria might consist of voting whether a freepers post is thoughtful, sarcastic, sophomoric, humorous, etc and then freepers could eliminate posts irrelevant to their criteria. That way, freepers could eliminate posts like this by setting their preference to eliminate ‘thoughtful’ posts. (c;

As freepers become more and more vitriolic toward certain candidates and their supporters, the negativity discourages discussion and that can’t help freerepublic as a forum to espouse Jim Robinson’s brand of conservatism.


26 posted on 09/08/2007 6:32:16 AM PDT by Nephi ( $100m ante is a symptom of the old media... the Ron Paul Revolution is the new media's choice.)
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To: kristinn

This is good news. If he is BITCHING then we are HITCHING!


27 posted on 09/08/2007 6:33:57 AM PDT by CHEE (You don't have to practice to be miserable.)
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To: Psycho_Bunny
...you could click on the "TO: FRUser" and you would jump to the comment the current comment was directed at.
In your reply click on the "To 9" and you'll get the same thing.
28 posted on 09/08/2007 6:35:26 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: Psycho_Bunny

Picking “To 23” on this reply, just like my last, will get you to your reply.


29 posted on 09/08/2007 6:39:20 AM PDT by philman_36
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My answer, as articulated here is that there is a conservative Daily Kos, that’s it’s Free Republic, but that it doesn’t really “count” since it’s not a blog, and more critically, it won’t play nicely with the rest of the movement and it doesn’t worship candidates like Kos does.

In my opinion, this is what really bugs them about FR. This is not a Republican site. It is a conservative site and we (well, most of us) don't tolerate non-conservatives even when they dress themselves as Republicans and try to say the right things at the right time just to get our votes.

30 posted on 09/08/2007 6:57:25 AM PDT by Stegall Tx (Almost time to mow the grass.)
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To: Nephi
RIGHT-— Libertypost.org 157,700 Lucianne.com 299,600 Libertyforum.org 132,800 Clownposse.org 010,300 Littlegreenfootballs.com 603,400 Freerepublic.com 1,308,300 LEFT-— Democraticunderground.com 792,600 Dailykos.com 2,048,900 WideAwakes 16
31 posted on 09/08/2007 6:58:41 AM PDT by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: kristinn

Ruffini is right about something. I’ve mentioned it before here. Daily Kuss takes its activism to the local level. FR doesn’t do that. I’m not talking about GOE. I’m referring to state activism - the 50 state plan of Howard Dean. This is not a criticism of FR. I have yet to see any conservative blog/forum that does what they do on the local level. However, when it comes to global issues, they have much less knowledge and understanding than FReepers.


32 posted on 09/08/2007 7:03:28 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: Greg F

Exactly.


33 posted on 09/08/2007 7:05:03 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: Stegall Tx
Yep! That snippet that you quoted is actually quite a compliment. It basically says that the Kos people are sheep and march lock-step in their group think, without question. We (FReeRepublic) on the other hand think for ourselves and if we don’t like something, contrary to majority opinion, we make our position known within the FReeRepublic community.
34 posted on 09/08/2007 7:07:50 AM PDT by avacado
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To: Nephi

“I agree with his suggestion, though.”

I don’t. The system we have is fine. If someone says something worthwhile, we can bump it or reply. Conversely, if a post is not notable, it is ignored. In my visits to dKos, I’ve seen threads devolve into nothing more than “why did you troll-rate me” whining. We don’t need that.


35 posted on 09/08/2007 7:10:35 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: kristinn
Why no Righty Kos?

I can think of a couple of reasons:

Not many mentally ill people ascribe to conservative ideals.

Republican just don't know that many swear words!

36 posted on 09/08/2007 7:19:01 AM PDT by Jagman (I drank Frank Rabelais under the table!)
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To: sageb1

We did some more local activism around 2000, but it kind of evaporated. I’m not sure how to get that going again.


37 posted on 09/08/2007 7:25:11 AM PDT by B Knotts (Tancredo '08!)
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To: kristinn

Sorry, but I’m missing the bashing part?


38 posted on 09/08/2007 7:33:47 AM PDT by Smartaleck
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To: B Knotts

(DU was, and is, a joke). That community may not be the healthiest one around, but it’s still a community.

snicker!


39 posted on 09/08/2007 7:35:40 AM PDT by jamndad5 ("I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.")
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To: B Knotts

I’m not sure either. The set up for the state forums isn’t really conducive to a lot of ongoing discussion. Do you use your state board?


40 posted on 09/08/2007 7:38:08 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: kristinn
As always: FreeRepublic is not a blog!!!

That said, JohnRob has done some interesting tests on a Web 2.0 version of FR, compatible with all that we do now but with far more potential for sophisticated AJAXy features. I hope he can deploy it for the 2008 race.

Updates are Good.
41 posted on 09/08/2007 7:42:43 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: kristinn; Freee-dame

FR may be primitive in its architecture,

&&&&&&

I guess “primitive” is a synonym for “user friendly.”


42 posted on 09/08/2007 7:46:27 AM PDT by maica (America will be a hyperpower that's all hype and no power -- if we do not prevail in Iraq)
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To: kristinn
Why is there no synchophant site for the GOP?

Why SHOULD there be?

Blind allegiance only sets you up for ridicule later.

43 posted on 09/08/2007 7:56:25 AM PDT by weegee (NO THIRD TERM. America does not need another unconstitutional Clinton co-presidency.)
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To: Stepan12

The “intellectuals” will decide what’s right for us, just give them manpower and $$$. It’s about power and not policy.


44 posted on 09/08/2007 7:58:13 AM PDT by weegee (NO THIRD TERM. America does not need another unconstitutional Clinton co-presidency.)
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To: kristinn

45 posted on 09/08/2007 8:08:16 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: kristinn
Why No Righty Kos?

Kos ? Is the self-promotion of a LEFTIST blog site, now deemed "The Standard" ?

Another creepy attempt by the LEFT at trying to CONTROL THE LANGUAGE.
46 posted on 09/08/2007 8:09:50 AM PDT by pyx (Rule#1.The LEFT lies.Rule#2.See Rule#1. IF THE LEFT CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE, IT CONTROLS THE ARGUMENT.)
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To: kristinn
Who gives a flip about the Kosmanuts?

Go there anytime, watch them for a second and it's only "Three, two, one blast off" before one of the Kosmanuts goes ballistic.

That's cute but not intellectually stimulating.

47 posted on 09/08/2007 8:14:31 AM PDT by Doctor Raoul (Iraq Veterans Against the War elected is a Marxist Sandinista Insurgent Their Leader)
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To: Nephi

“A rating system might work to freerepublic’s advantage.”

uh, the only FR “rating system” that matters is the option on the far right:

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yayhoo message boards allow posters to award stars, LOL


48 posted on 09/08/2007 8:32:14 AM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: SW6906
Primitive?!!? I LOVE this structure

The author of the article would simply respond with "That's because you're a Neanderthal'!

49 posted on 09/08/2007 8:37:33 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: kristinn; Jim Robinson

Thanks for the post ... intereresting to have a look at FR from outside our ‘box’ ... even though that perspective drifted a little goofy, replete with snide put downs.

On my very first visit during the Whitewater days, I knew FR was the place to be.

I walk through the doors, sit and have a cup of coffee, read the news, listen to interesting conversation and sometimes join in the give and take.

Emphasis on “give” ... Freepers are hunter/gatherers ... roaming the wilds, bagging a critter and posting it on the wall for all to partake, or ignore, as we will.

Emphasis on “take” ... as I always come away from FR with a hat full of new information, sensible ways of looking at things that I might not have arrived at myself, and a feeling of friendship with people I’ll likely never meet except in cyberspace.

There’s more real news here on FR in a single day than all the networks and failing newspapers combined.

JimRob has done a wonderful thing for his friends, neighbors and Country ... may the Good Lord always bless him.


50 posted on 09/08/2007 9:01:38 AM PDT by jwfiv
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