Dreams Into Lightning is a year old today. It's been an amazing year. I love blogging and I have no intention of quitting, so I am now looking forward and making some plans for this blog's second year.
What won't change. Don't worry about updating your browser favorites: I have no plans to leave Blogger. There are some very good blog hosting services out there, but I'm a creature of habit, and I confess that (like Wretchard) I've developed a certain sentimental attachment to BlogSpot. On a more pragmatic level, I'm accustomed to its features and its limitations. Finally, having suffered (along with thousands of other bloggers) through Blogger's growing pains and service outages, I think we're finally out of the woods. The Blogger status page indicates that they've been working pretty hard on upgrading their capabilities, and I've noticed a spectacular improvement over the past few weeks. I'm banking on the trend continuing, and sticking with Blogger/BlogSpot.
Style and content of Dreams Into Lightning will evolve, but I don't expect any radical departures. My politics and values haven't changed; as many of you know, I am a pro-Bush liberal with interests in politics, culture, science, the arts, religion, feminism, and gay rights. The events of recent years, and blogging in particular, have brought me into contact with many fine conservative thinkers and activists, and I've gained a great deal of respect and appreciation for conservative thought. So I don't mind saying that - to whatever extent these labels mean anything anymore - I have a "conservative" side too. Whatever that means.
A little about me. As I've said, I am liberal, feminist, pro-gay-rights, and pro-Bush. I am passionate about the battle for freedom, human rights, and democracy in the Middle East; this is enormously important, both for moral reasons and because our own survival depends on it. (As I've argued previously, I believe that the term "neo-conservatism" is basically a fancy name for "enlightened self-interest" - which is not a bad thing at all.) As a veteran of the 1990-1991 war (Desert Shield / Desert Storm) I have a particular connection to Iraq. I am a moderately religious Jew and a strong supporter of Israel; this does not mean, of course, that I agree with everything the Israeli government does. I've always supported the Palestinians' right to self-determination; I agree with President Bush - the first American President to explicitly call for a Palestinian state - that this is not incompatible with a safe and secure Israel. (This vision will not be possible, though, until the fascist regimes trying to undermine it are removed.)
Clearly there will be some areas where I don't agree with the President; but I think he is right about the things that matter most. I also think he's a man of principle. This doesn't mean I think he's perfect - I believe that he acts from a combination of idealism and self-interest, like you and me and most people in the world. Is he a "fundamentalist"? Well, I've become very cautious about throwing that word around; more and more it seems like a scare word used by the liberal establishment. Personally, I believe in a G-d who cares about our well-being and our conduct as human beings, and who wants us to live with dignity and to treat each other with compassion and respect. If the President, or anyone else, believes in the same G-d, then we have something in common, whatever our particular doctrinal differences may be.
I enjoy writing and I was raised in a home where books and writing were a way of life. Blogging allows me a creative outlet for my writing, and in the coming year I hope to be posting more creative material. (Outside of the blog, I'm planning to spend more time at creative writing, with an eye to getting published in print one day.) Incidentally, this is also one reason I haven't chosen to pursue "photoblogging" here. I think you can say a lot with pictures, and (for instance) Iraq the Model has given us some extraordinary images we would never have been able to see otherwise. But for me, it's about the written word; so while I can't rule out the possibillity that I might post an image some time, Dreams Into Lightning will remain first and foremost a wordblog.
As I mentioned a few days ago, a little structure may be in order. I'm working out a tentative posting plan where I can focus on a particular topic each day of the week, while retaining enough flexibility to deal with the vagaries of world events and my own life. Watch for an updated version of the projected posting schedule.
Thanks for visiting, and come back often.