Peggy Noonan Nails it...
Let us hold high a single sparkler to honor those American institutions that, in this interesting year, did not flounder or fail...
Blogging. The 24-7 opinion sites that offer free speech at its straightest, truest, wildest, most uncensored, most thoughtful, most strange. Thousands of independent information entrepreneurs are informing, arguing, adding information. Imagine if we'd had them in 1776: "As I wrote in yesterday's lead item on SamAdams.com, my well meaning cousin John continues his grammatical nitpicking with Jefferson (link requires registration) 'Inalienable,' 'unalienable,' whatever. Boys, let's fight. Start the war." Blogs may one hard day become clearinghouses for civil support and information when other lines, under new pressure, break down. The Lights that Did Not Fail - WSJ [sub required]
Hell Yeah. As I wrote recently, Freedom of the Press belongs to those who own one, from the famous AJ Liebling quote. I again stress that the blogging 'movement' -- and it is a movement, in the Alice's Restaurant sense of the word if no where else -- is an expression of freedom. Many have called it self-indulgent. Some may think of it as the sound of a thousand single hands clapping (though I have no idea why some would use that metaphor, I thought it sounded philosophical). Whatever it is, it is PEOPLE, communicating with other PEOPLE.
It is not "the Press" which is a collections of the writings of Journalists, who are people, albiet with education, editorial voice, and packaging. The press is different. It is not always bad, but it has a certain false feeling of fake objectivity. Blogging, raw and unedited or highly tailored and made to fit, seems to be something more...personal.
Blogging is an expression of Lincon's "of the people, by the people, for the people" quote. The original quote, from the Gettysburg Address, referred to a Government. But Blogging is helping define the Press, the Government, and the opinions of the people. It also helps tell stories that don't make it to "mainstream" media, such as life in Israel from TalG in Jerusalem.
Without Tal, how would I know that Arafat's Fatah has called for terror attacks against the US? It wasn't in the WSJ or the NY Post this am. (Arafat later issued a statement distancing himself from the Fatah statement, saying it was not made in his name.) Tal is not in America, but he represents the freedom of reporting on events, of expressing an opinion, that is what Blogging is about.
So, in the implied words of the 9th Circuit Court on this, the 226th anniversary of our Country, One Nation, Under...um...you know who...:
Unspecified Deity Bless America.