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« Does Any of This Matter? | Main | A Profound Irony »

October 19, 2006


I like that painting!

I've been here since shortly after the beginning, having discovered two of my favorite blogs--A.B. and the now inactive Dadahead--through BL's Leiter Reports.

I like that your/our decidedly liberal blog is nothing like the propagandistic Kos, and that it is "small" enough that it's possible to have a conversation in the comments (in contrast with, say, Atrios and the hundreds or thousands of comments per post). It seems to me that it's an "honest" blog (I'm not quite sure what I mean by that), and your posts about newsworthy science and nonpolitical cultural matters are often among the most enjoyable to read, although the political ones also typically contain some high-quality insights.

I sometimes worry that my own posts here are too one-dimensional--it's difficult to ignore the mess that is the contemporary political world, and at the same time, everything has already been said and the same stuff keeps happening (suffering, death, torture, corruption, check). Sandy Levinson recently remarked at Balkinization that he sometimes tends to get "hot under the collar," and that his friend Linda Greenhouse at the NY Times portrays matters in a much more level and mature way than he ever could--I tend to feel the same way about you and, more generally, the rest of the A.B. family.

Congratulations on one year Ruchira! I think you've done a great job with this blog! The painting is lovely.

I've been reading this for what, I think almost three months now. . . time goes so quickly and I'm bad at keeping track. Found you first through Amardeep's blog and then your own recommendation, after we'd exchanged emails. I like and appreciate your pointed honesty about what you think. I don't always agree with you, but I like your writing. Both the political and the social/cultural articles appeal to me, but I have to admit I don't always read the scientific ones. :)

Oh and I'm in Oregon!


Congratulations on AB's first birthday! You must be feeling like a proud mom-imagine this tiny little thing that you conceived and nurtured now reaching the toddling stage. Oops, got carried away with the analogy.
AB doesn't toddle, it springs out more like a mountain stream and flows back and forth as fancy takes it. Over the past year,IMO, AB has matured from a mountain stream to a creek,which has its moments of joyous overflow, as for the Liquid Explosives and Solid Lies post:)
May this creek become a massive river in the near future, and from then,on to the sea!

P.S. Love your painting. Any particular significance to the scene, or did you just happen to like the juxtaposition of the cheery umbrella colors?


Being present at the creation (at least cybernetically) I am really pleased at the first anniversary of your blog. It has revealed an entirely new facet of your personality as a commentator, critic and observer of the issues of our times. For someone living far, what I get is the wholesome flavour of the Indian diaspora, Texas and the US (in that order)in your blog. But what impresses me most is the intense passion that drives your writing. That is what makes your blog so interesting. Keep it up !!

Hi Ruchira
Many happy returns of the day! I've become a regular reader ever since I first found your blog through your fiery comments at confused's blog (during the whole vande mataram fracas). I am sorry I haven't been able to post comments as much lately due to a severe shortage of time (also sometimes because of the fear that the quality of my comment might not match up to that of the post hehe).

I would also like to say that I like your format for posting where you put up the link you are referring to, followed by your commentary, followed by a short excerpt of the link. I think that makes it very succinct and informative and it is great.

Secondly, I haven't yet commented on your paintings but I think they are quite amazing. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing them with the rest of us.

Thirdly, I think your guest bloggers also do a fabulous job and it is great how all their posts gel seamlessly with the overall tone of the blog.

As for me, I am from Philadelphia and I don't remember how long I've been a reader, probably a few months I suppose.

But anyways, great going and all the best.

I've been reading for... I'm not sure how long. Maybe 6 months, maybe more. I found this blog on Amardeep Singh's blog only a few days after I discovered him and his blog on Radio OpenSource (

I'm from MA, USA and prefer the social/cultural articles to political (maybe because I read so much political stuff everywhere else).

Happy blogiversary!!!!

Congratulations on one year of steady, measured commentary and conversation. I am flattered to have been recruited by you, Ruchira, to contribute a little bit now and then. It's really a pleasure.

I first learned about AB through Prof. Leiter's blogs (and I've been reading his online and print work since well before the advent of blogs). I'm a librarian in Berkeley and, as you once pointed out to me, I tend to chime in on the cultural posts, rather than the political ones...but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading and learning from all entries. I like Joe's characterization of AB. It's honest--and pointed and incisive--but without being in-your-face.

Among AB's other virtues are the special quality of your literary voice; the timely, pertinent, sometimes just interesting or amusing posts; the relaxed, nevertheless deliberate and carefully considered tone of the posts; and the respectful,
non-confrontational tone of the comments. More commentary, one of your occasional desiderata, might mean less of that final asset, and less freedom for you to nurture the others. Contrarian that I am, I don't think "more voices" would necessarily entail a better forum. I can think of otherwise respectable blogs on which the commentary quickly descends to name-calling and crass ad hominem bickering.

In an e-mail message to me, you wrote of AB, "Readers mostly read silently and leave." Ah, bliss. A library.

Congrats, Ruchira! This is such an entertaining and thought-provoking place to visit.

Dear Fellow Bloggers (and you are all bloggers!):

Thank you for the kind words and above all, thank you for reading.

My husband asked me if I was fishing for compliments with this post. Perhaps there was a bit of that. But it really was more about honest feedback on my blogging efforts.

A.B. is not a personal blog. I don't muse about my personal life or feelings here - all references to my own experiences are objectively relevant to the related article. There is also no inward looking therapeutic angle. Unless one can classify Bush bashing as therapy.

The attempt here is always to state facts and interpret them according to our world views in order to elicit a response - pro or con. A.B. is therefore all about starting a conversation.

It's funny how I again failed to elicit any response from new readers! But as Dean said, perhaps it is okay to have a "quiet" blog where a conversation is indeed possible without the distraction of too many voices.

And Joe, don't worry about coming across as too hot under the collar or blue in the face in your posts. For one thing, you don't. For another, as the youngest author here, you are entitled to throwing an occasional tantrum. :-)

Hope to see you all here on a regular basis.

Let me shower some more praise on your blogging effort. It certainly manages to inform, enlighten, and amuse, often at once. I’ve been visiting for the last couple months or so; didn’t realize it was only a year old. As I wrote to you a while back, I am impressed by how prolific you are as a blogger, and by your ability to touch upon a wide range of topics with a good deal of panache and intelligence, day after day. I know it’s not an easy thing to do. Keep it up!

Thanks N.A. Didn't know you were still reading.

I wish you had weighed in on the "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Utility" discussion where Sanjay and I were engaged in one of our usual circular arguments.

i have been a "quiet" reader of your blog for 3-4 months now from Maryland. I like your style of writing about social,political and just about any issues.In this world of bias news broadcasting its good to read opnionated blogs. Happy blogiversary!
Keep writing ,dont stop!

Ma, congratulations on a prolific first year of AB. Keep up the positive blogitude.

Biggie: Thanks. You (and your sister) should read more prolifically.

Thank you for breaking your silence and for your encouraging words. If time, energy and enthusiasm allow, I plan to keep on "opining" at A.B. for a while more.

Wow, it has been a year. Congratulations and many more. On the one hand, I can't believe you have only been blogging a year, as your blog reads as if it has been around for longer than that. It feels like a very well established blog, you know? Great writing, thoughtful, insightful. On the other hand, it is clear you have done and continue to do well. I can't quite recall how long I have been reading, but I found it randomly I believe. I think I saw a link to you from someplace else, came over, and soon added you to my reader. Have kept on reading since.

Currently located in Houston. I like the balance of the political and the social/cultural. If you keep it up, I will keep coming. Best, and keep on blogging.

Thanks - it's nice to hear from a fellow Houstonian.

I know you are a librarian. I wrote a comment on another post last night and then retracted it. You (and Dean, my co-blogger) are a good person to pose the question to.

I was wondering if Laura the Librarian reads bedtime stories to George. If so, what would be your reading recommendation to her so that she can help tame the wild beast that gnaws at her hubby's heart?

Perhaps this could be an idea for a blog post. Asking readers to come up with a reading list for our own "Uncurious George!"

just stumbled upon your blogs by accident(ha!).
found it interesting - and different.
sitting here in india with our own take on the US and its external affairs, i find some of your posts very informative - in the sense it is like getting a glimpse of the insider's view.
wonder if you realise how different things look as u move further and further away from the scene of action.

must say this is a bold and brave site - there are quite a few similar blogs coming from the US.

admire the way you exercise your frredom of expression

Ruchira:Really, behind those colourful umbrellas in the painting lies so much life, vibrant and relaxed, both! Your year-long blogging has revealed so much of it, so succinctly and so candidly. Please carry on with it, Ruchira, because this is not merely an indulgent self expression but also critical perspectives to such a variety of issues offered with so much zeal! Many happy returns of the year!

My wife is a children's librarian, so she likely has numerous title suggestions at hand. (Then again, I maintain that we're all children's librarians, but that's another story.) I'd say, for a start, that Laura could do worse than Yeats' Second Coming. Gramsci's Prison Notebooks might be good, too, except that there are no pictures.


I hope you stumble back here from time to time. This time deliberately, rather than by "accident."

I'm responding to your request for readers to leave a note on your blog on your first anniversary. Let me start by saying that I'm an occasional reader who first learned of your blog by following the link to your name in comments you posted to PIAW's blog. I first started reading about 9 months ago, when I was living in Delhi. I moved home to CA about two months ago. (I'm an ABCD.)

I appreciate the bravery of your comments. I greatly value bravery of thought and expression. Congratulations to you on your anniversary of blogging! I will be reading more.

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