There are many ways to determine an annual “Top Stories List.” In the blogosphere, one useful measure is the amount of conversation provoked by a story. So here’s my list of the this year’s big conversation starters, as measured by number of comments, here on the Madville Times:
- Full-Reserve Banking? My Cousin Must Be Kidding…: Didn’t expect that, did you? My wingnut cousin Aaron (who works in finance and should know better… unless he’s in with Glenn Beck on trying to push gold prices) proposed requiring banks to maintain full reserves instead of doing what George Bailey and every other banker does: loan your savings out to borrowers who want to build homes and business. A host of other interested parties joined in to explain why the free market has rejected this economy-crashing system.
- Christians, Get with the Program: Ditch Creationism for Real Science: I noted some more theologically inclined writers’ position what the church should stop fretting over creationism and embrace evolution.
- Want Nazi Tactics? See Arizona’s Anti-Immigration Law: mention Arizona, immigration, and fascism, and you’re sure to get people talking.
- Gordon Howie, Please Quit: Retiring State Senator Gordon Howie failed to get his health care reform nullification act through the Legislature. He then failed to gather enough signatures to place it on the general election ballot. He kept flogging the issue, thinking it would propel him to victory in the June gubernatorial primary. No such luck.
- Brothers’ Keepers: Cognitive Dissonance in American Health Care: We Americans pay for our health care almost entirely through the collective means of insurance. Yet we reject efforts to use the most effective, inclusive collective health insurance system possible, a nationwide risk pool created through single-payer or a strong public option. I still don’t get it.
- President Obama: “Government Is Us”: Our President said that to graduates at the University of Michigan. I’ve been saying that readers here from the start. The Tea Party still doesn’t get it.
- Dog Bites Man; Bob Ellis Wrong; Howie Is Teabagger: Various conservatives preferred to bog us down in a debate over an obscene term that Gordon Howie and other Tea Party sign-wavers publicly embraced.
- Gordon Howie Campaigning to Stop Deportation of God: Howie slurped up all sorts of my bandwidth, here by manufacturing the false issue of God’s imminent expulsion from South Dakota.
- KELO Editorializes, Says God Exists: Fortunately, our liberal media asserted that, even after Howie’s defeat at the polls, the Deity was still among us.
- Religion and Politics: Engaging the Beast Versus Becoming the Beast: Legislative candidate Pastor Steve Hickey got me thinking more about the proper role of pastors and religion in politics. Pastor Hickey led off the comments by assuring us he seeks no theocracy or oppression of atheists like me. With the good pastor now ascending (take a moment… think about that) to the State House to make laws amidst a Republican supermajority, I will be watching to hold him to that word.
Honorable Mentions: a few stories didn’t draw quite as many comments per post but did draw lots of comments over several separate posts as the stories developed.
- The Madison Central School District new gym and high school renovation plan has elicited a great deal of discussion, including details of the MHS video tour, practical alternatives to put more priority on academics and arts, and concerns that the school’s early voting scheme bends if not breaks state election laws.
- The Blog Control Acts, HB 1277 and HB 1278, proposed in the State Legislature in February got bloggers riled up and speaking out on both sides of the issue. Mr. Epp and I and many others debated the extent of the First Amendment.
- Kristi Noem and her supporters dissembled and spun her way to South Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat, while South Dakota Dems wreslted with finding the right balance between defending and challenging our Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.