Screen grab from Facebook ad administration page
Thanks to the financial support of our generous readers, Bacon’s Rebellion has begun promoting popular posts on Facebook with the goal of driving traffic to the website. Faceless Facebook minions review each ad before it can be published. Not surprisingly, any text with “COVID” appears to be automatically rejected, even when we’re not opining on the efficacy of official state and federal guidelines. More surprising was the recent rejection of an ad promoting a recent post, When “Words Are Violence,” Only One Side Gets to Speak, about free speech and expression at the University of Virginia.
At the risk of provoking Facebook, our most promising marketing vehicle, I am posting an image of the rejection notice, which appeared with no explanation. I feel fortunate that Facebook has not nixed any of posts on the Bacon’s Rebellion Facebook page — only the ads. I’m hoping that doesn’t change. We’ll see. The situation is fluid. Continue reading
By Peter Galuszka
I haven’t contributed much to BR lately since I am slammed with non-Virginia work. I did manage to help out on a Podcast about how the General Assembly has changed the state over the last two years as Democrats have gained power.
This Podcast is produced by WTJU, the University of Virginia radio station. I do a weekly talk show on state politics and economics and, on occasion, work on Podcasts.
Joining me is Sally Hudson, a delegate from the Charlottesville area. She is Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics. Sally studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford and is one of the youngest members of the General Assembly.
I hope you enjoy it.
Posted in Agriculture & forestry, Blogs and blog administration, Budgets, Business and Economy, Consumer protection, Courts and law, Demographics, Economic development, Energy, Entrepreneurialism, Environment, Finance (government), General Assembly, Health Care, Housing, Immigration, Individual rights, Infrastructure, Labor & workforce, Land use & development, Politics, Poverty & income gap, Property rights, Public safety & health, Race
In the hope of becoming a financially self-supporting publication one day, Bacon’s Rebellion has started placing ads on the blog. I don’t particularly like ads — particularly the click-baity ones — but I like begging readers for donations even less. Don’t get me wrong. I gratefully accept contributions from readers. If you feel moved to support the leading voice of conservative/libertarian commentary in Virginia, click on the yellow “Donate” button in the right-hand column. I just don’t want to pester readers like National Public Radio badgers its listeners.
As believers in free-market capitalism, we’d much prefer to live our values and build a viable business enterprise as opposed to becoming an institution that relies upon foundation grants and tax-free contributions. If you want to help us grow, consider advertising on the Bacon’s Rebellion blog or in The Blunderbuss newsletter.
We offer two types of ads: (1) graphic ads, such as the ones appearing in the right-hand column, and (2) sponsored content, such as commentary, white papers, or press releases, which appears in the main body of the blog or newsletter. Contact me at jabacon[at]baconsrebellion.com to discuss either option.
There’s a feature on Bacon’s Rebellion that few readers have noticed because I have never drawn attention to it. I have started compiling an RSS news feed of Virginia blogs, news sources, and advocacy groups. You can see the link on the menu above.
Plenty of news never makes it into the established news media for the simple reason that editorial holes are getting tighter, stories are getting shorter, and newsrooms don’t have the staff to cover everything that is newsworthy. If your organization — political campaign, advocacy group, trade association, state or local government agency, whatever — is looking for visibility, click here and fill out the form so we can add your press releases and news stories to our news feed. Here’s the trick: You must have an RSS feed — that’s the only way we can pick up your material.
As an incentive to share your RSS feed, The Blunderbuss, our new newsletter, will publish the most interesting headlines each day. Bypass the media gatekeepers and go straight to Bacon’s Rebellion’s readers.
by James A. Bacon
I’m pleased to announce the launch today of The Blunderbuss, a new Bacon’s Rebellion newsletter edited by Bob Rayner and Robin Beres, my old compatriots from the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial page.
Each day around noon, The Blunderbuss will deliver not only the past 24 hours’ headlines from Bacon’s Rebellion, but it will highlight other articles, essays and blog posts from around Virginia that aren’t getting the attention from the Mainstream media they deserve. Plus links to the best public-policy reading on the Web, from Virginia or otherwise, but always sticking to the big Bacon’s Rebellion themes. Plus links to the most interesting articles and press releases from the Bacon’s Rebellion RSS news feed. Plus — and this is the best part — Bob and Robin’s inimitable spin on all of the above.
You can subscribe to The Blunderbuss by clicking here.
We plan to publish the newsletter three times weekly while we get accustomed to our newsletter software and refine the format, but our intention is to shoot it out daily. Continue reading
by James A. Bacon
A fabulous new website (edited by yours truly), The Jefferson Council, tracks governance and culture-war issues at the University of Virginia. Much of the content is recycled from Bacon’s Rebellion, but we’re hoping that The Jefferson Council will grow into a vibrant stand-alone forum for the exchange of views about UVa’s future that generates loads of its own content. Here follow the three most recent posts…
Show Us the Plan!
Parents Petition to the University of Virginia Administration
Dear UVA Administrators and Board of Visitors
We write to you today as a large, rapidly expanding coalition of UVA stakeholders including parents, students, and alumni who are increasingly concerned about the current living/learning conditions at the University of Virginia. Continue reading “Show Us the Plan!”
As part of our slow-motion overhaul of Bacon’s Rebellion, we are shifting to a new platform, Disqus, for posting comments. It will be a bit of a pain for regular participants — you’ll have to re-register — but the change-over will give us more editorial control.
Bacon’s Rebellion has some of the sharpest, most informative dialogue of any blog or website in Virginia. We love the way readers engage in debate and expand upon our posts by providing links, photos, graphs, and maps. Now we hope to raise the bar even higher. Our immediate goal is to improve the reader experience by quickly dousing the flame wars that occasionally break out. Also, Disqus has cool features that we expect to experiment with. As always, we will be attentive to feedback from our readers.
I will be announcing other exciting changes soon.
By Peter Galuszka
Our esteemed Jim Bacon has been on a tear in recent months writing about media coverage of the problem of systemic racism at the Virginia Military Institute.
Of special interest to Jim is the reporting of Ian Shapira, a Washington Post reporter who has been digging into the VMI. After his stories were published, the superintendent of VMI retired and an inquiry was launched.
Jim doesn’t like what the Post and Shapira have done. Some of Jim’s headlines go right to the jugular including “VMI Update: The WaPo Makes Another Sleazy Insinuation” and “WaPo Ratchets Up Assault on VMI.”
At one point, Jim made this observation: “Polish up that Pulitzer. It looks like The Washington Post is vying again for the big prize in journalism”
Well, guess what happened? Shapira and the Post have won a George Polk award for their VMI coverage. The citation reads thusly: Continue reading
by Peter Galuszka
The Texas freeze and ensuing energy disaster has clear lessons for Virginia as it sorts out its energy future.
Yet much of the media coverage in Virginia and certainly on Bacon’s Rebellion conveniently leaves out pertinent observations.
The statewide freeze in Texas completely fouled up the entire energy infrastructure as natural gas pipelines and oil wells stopped working, coal at generating plants iced over and wind turbines stopped working.
Making matters much worse, Texas opted not to have power links with other states. Its “free market” system of purchasing power meant utilities skimped on maintenance and adding weather-relative preventive measures such as making sure key generation components were weatherproof.
The result? Scores dead and millions without electricity. Here are more points worth considering in Virginia:
Climate Change is For Real
It is a shame that so much comment in Bacon’s Rebellion is propaganda from people who are or were paid, either directly or indirectly, by the fossil fuel industry. Thus, the blog diminishes the importance of dealing with climate change in a progressive way. Continue reading
Posted in Blogs and blog administration, Budgets, Business and Economy, Consumer protection, Culture wars, Disaster planning, Economic development, Energy, Environment, Insurance, Labor & workforce, Land use & development, Money in politics, Political Influence, Politics, Property rights, Public corruption, Public safety & health, Regulation, Science & Technology
By DJ Rippert
The medium is the message. Medium is an online publishing website founded by Evan Williams — who also co-founded Blogger and Twitter. The genre of Medium is sometimes called social journalism. As described in Wikipedia, social journalism “relies on community involvement, audience engagement, social newsgathering and verification, data and analytics, and relationship-building.” That’s all true. However, the biggest point is that authors get paid to write for Medium. Medium generates revenue by selling subscriptions at $5 per month. People who buy those subscriptions are called “members.” Members are eligible to enroll in Medium’s partner program. People in that program are eligible to earn money based on the level of engagement the author’s stories get from other members. While Medium keeps its payment algorithms secret most members believe that the amount paid is calculated based on the number of members who read the story and how long they spend reading it. In some ways Medium could be considered Uber for writers. It facilitates easy paid participation in the gig economy of writing. Continue reading
There has been considerable activity behind the scenes here at Bacon’s Rebellion as we work on elevating the blog to the next level. We see a tremendous market opportunity as newspaper newsrooms continue to shrink, skewing consistently leftward in their editorial coverage as they do so. We believe that there is a large audience for a publication with a moderately conservative center of gravity that delivers Virginia news and commentary while maintaining a diversity of perspectives and a civil exchange of views. And we believe that Bacon’s Rebellion is the logical candidate to fill that niche.
As believers in free-market capitalism, we are not seeking foundation grants to propel us forward. And we hate to rely upon your charity (although we will ask for your help). Instead, for the foreseeable future, we will generate revenue from advertising. That means you soon will be seeing ads on the blog for the first time. I promise that they will not be intrusive. I can’t predict exactly when the ads will first appear, but the day is not far off. So, don’t be shocked.
Our next initiative will be to publish a newsletter. Initially, as we get our bearings, we will publish only two or three times a week, but eventually we hope to blast it out daily. Besides highlighting blog posts on Bacon’s Rebellion, we plan to aggregate a wealth of content you can’t access by subscribing to VA News, The Virginia Mercury. Virginia Business or The Virginia Star. This, too, will be supported by advertising. Continue reading
Every week Jeanine Martin with The Bull Elephant publishes a compilation of the week’s memes and cartoons. Just as the late night shows are funnier if you’re a Democrat, it helps to be a Trump fan — or at least lean Republican — to find the humor in Jeanine’s Memes. I thought the one above was hilarious. The Internet has liberated comic genius that would never make it in corporate media. — JAB
A week or more after a major disruption in our hosting service, Bacon’s Rebellion continues to experience technical difficulties. I am hearing from many of you that when you call up the blog, you land on an out-of-date page and can find no way to find the current posts. The solution is simple: Click on the “Home” button.
In the meantime, we will continue to try to get to the root of the problem.