Saturday, April 28, 2012

One Moment in Time, A Cause Shown

One week ago, I was attending BlogConCLT, a fantastic event put on by the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity and FreedomWorks. As my regular readers know, the bulk of my content here is on the "Finest Hour" motif, and I don't weigh in on other topics as often as I'd like to. I'll admit, my original reason for going to BlogCon was selfish: I wanted to meet so many of the wonderful people I've interacted with via Twitter and other online methods in person.

I did accomplish that, and so many e-acquaintances I can now count as real friends. What I really took away from the experience though was completely unexpected.

First, I think I found a reason why I don't write about topics relating to politics and current events very often here: my view has been national, and it's all been covered. One of the panel discussions at the conference opened my eyes. The panel featured both Guy Benson of and Dana Loesch of Breitbart. They both made the point that the large, established new media outlets like Townhall and Breitbart have the national scene covered. What they miss are local and state stories and coverage. We've seen so many cases of local stories ballooning into ones with national impact. Those local items have to be found though.

Ok, that I can do. I can keep tabs on my local government and school board but, gosh, there's so much more going on around here.

Then, as the conference was coming to a close, Melissa Clouthier took the podium and started running through the list of "swing" states for this year's election, asking the bloggers from those states to stand as they were called. She called for those from Pennsylvania, and there was myself and one other (he being from the Philadelphia area).


It didn't really hit me at first, but I left Charlotte at about 7:30PM last Saturday and drove back home to the Pittsburgh North Hills - 8 1/2 hours including stops. I kept coming back in my mind to when I was there standing amid a whole bunch of folks who I think have accomplished a lot more through this medium than I have and I kept thinking, "gosh, I've got a lot of work to do."

It wasn't lost on me that I can't just turn myself into a full-time blogger; I do, after all, have to keep a roof over my family's head. What I can do is lay a foundation, find the right people to build with, and contribute what I can and get others to do the same.

It's taken me about a week to sort things out in my mind on how to get this done, but tonight I've laid the corner stone. I'm pleased to announce the launch of Twenty-Eight Twelve. I wanted to think of a "catchy" name, and not being a marketeer, it wasn't easy (I think I succeeded; feel free to tell me if you think differently ;-) ). "Twenty-Eight" refers to the twenty-eight sections of the Declaration of Rights in the Pennsylvania constitution. "Twelve" refers to the twelve counties in southwestern Pennsylvania that will be the focus of this effort. I purposefully chose a name not readily associated with a particular movement or political party because I'm perfectly happy to tear down a corrupt Republican as I would be a corrupt Democrat. Since part of Twenty-Eight Twelve's reporting will be on local liberal media, it will understandably have a conservative and libertarian focus.

I hope that Twenty-Eight Twelve will grow and I'll find several great folks to collaborate with on it. Andrew Breitbart showed what was possible through citizen journalism. There is no reason why we in this area can't do the same in our towns, cities, counties, and state. I've already reached out to some of the local folks I've found via Twitter, and I think I already have a few folks signed on.

I met so many wonderful people last week - too many to name them all - but there are several who really inspired me to take this next step, in no particular order of importance: Melissa Clouthier, Andrew Malcolm, Michelle Ray, Mary Chastain, Sister Toldjah, Phineas Fahrquar, Mandy Nagy, and Tabitha Hale immediately come to mind. Thanks to all of you.

Their Finest Hour will continue, naturally, and I'd expect that many opinion pieces I author will get cross-posted.

So then, if you're with me in southwestern Pennsylvania, how are you going to help?

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