Category Archives: Blogs and blog administration

Seeking Social Media Expertise

Thanks to the generosity of our readers, Bacon’s Rebellion has accumulated enough cash to pay a starving college kid or out-of-work bartender a decent stipend over the summer to ramp up a social media campaign for the blog.

I’m looking for someone who:

  • Has experience in social media. Familiarity with Facebook is more important than with youth-oriented platforms.
  • Is comfortable with (or at least not antithetical to) the editorial orientation of the blog.
  • Is a self-starter and willing to work independently with only modest supervision.
  • Resides in the Richmond area, or is willing to travel to Richmond for occasional face-to-face contact with the publisher.

Compensation will be in the form of an hourly wage plus a performance bonus based on clickthroughs generated.

If you know of someone who might be interested (or if you’re interested yourself), please contact me at [email protected]

— Jim Bacon

WTJU Podcast: COVID-19 and the Economy

By Peter Galuszka

Here’s is the twice-monthly podcast produced by WTJU, the official radio station of the University of Virginia. With me on this podcast  are Nathan Moore, the station general manager, and Sarah Vogelsong, who covers, labor, energy and environmental issues across the state for the Virginia Mercury, a fairly new and highly regarded non-profit news outlet. Our topic is how Virginia is handling the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

And Now For Something Completely Different

By Peter Galuszka

Dear Baconauts,

As you know, people like me have been described by a B.R.  commenter as those who submit “scorch and burn, mock and smear writings encased in scornful, supercilious, opinionated, and shallow rhetoric.”

I freely admit this and am damned proud of it.

But instead of dishing out the usual sarcastic bile, I have another idea today. I don’t know about you, but with me self-quaranting as much as possible, I am running out of things to read or watch. I still have for-pay work but who knows how much that might last? So, why don’t we exchange ideas of new stuff to occupy our minds with. Here’s a list of recommended movies, TV series and books:

  • On Netflix, I am a huge fan of the German TV series “Bablyon Berlin,” which imagines a very dark, brooding German capital after the Great War and before Hitler. The chief characters are Georeon Rath, a shattered war veteran and police detective who gets into the seamy side of life. His heart throb is Charlotte Ritter, an office worker and part-time prostitute. The series has everything, shady characters, mysterious train shipments from the Soviet Union, fascists, communists, early porn studios. The acting, story line and photography are excellent. It’s like a grown up version of “Cabaret.”

Continue reading

Right Wing Uses Virus To Stifle Needed Reforms

Statue of Gov. Harry F. Byrd on the state capitol grounds.

By Peter Galuszka

Right-wingers in Virginia have been apoplectic for months that Democrats finally captured the General Assembly after years of Republican control.

They also were enraged that the legislature this winter passed a number of reforms that would draw Virginia into the 21st Century such raising the minimum wage, boosting collective bargaining, tightening rules on carbon pollution and raising taxes for cigarettes, a deadly product.

Now such conservatives are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to throttle or delay such needed reforms. They have banded into groups such as the Coalition fort a Strong Virginia Economy. They have used the Virginia Municipal League’s complaints against the reforms, claiming they cost too much, as a way to derail new measures.

According to the left-leaning blog site Blue Virginia, one of the more extreme advocates for scrambling changes is Dave LaRock, a far-right Republican delegate from Loudoun County. A pronounced gay-basher, LaRock wants to squelch all of the reforms made by the more progressive General Assembly. Continue reading

Note to Readers

Bacon’s Rebellion is experiencing technical difficulties — or, to be more accurate, our web server is experiencing technical difficulties. The website was down about three hours this morning, and some of the functionality has yet to be restored. The Cloud is far from perfect!

We are aware of the problem, and we’re working on it. Thanks for your patience.

— JAB

Cancel Your Print Subscription, Save a Bundle, and Support Intellectual Diversity in Journalism

Newspapers with breakfast. End of an era.

I cut the cord today — I stopped subscribing to the print edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. I’d been delaying the inevitable for a long time, but a 50-year habit of reading the newspaper over breakfast and coffee was hard to break.

Here’s what did it for me: The print-digital subscription is $70 per month. The digital-only subscription is $12 monthly. What am I getting for the extra $58 a month? Almost nothing. (My wife will miss the puzzles, but she’ll get over it.) When it came time to re-subscribe, I realized I could save almost $700 a year. To me, that’s not chump change.

That got me to thinking…. Bacon’s Rebellion readers, you can do it, too!

If you’re tired of subsidizing a publication whose news articles reflect a steadily constricting view of the world — the liberal/progressive worldview of newsroom editors and writers — stop being a doormat. Speak out in the only way that will make an impression. Cancel your print subscription. Then take half the money you save, donate it to Bacon’s Rebellion, and support intellectual diversity in Virginia media.

— JAB

Racism and COVID-19 in Virginia

By Peter Galuszka

“The Chinese Virus?” “Kung Flu?” Wuflu?”

These are some pejorative and racist names being bandied about for what is technically known as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. The disease associated with the virus is COVID-19.

These distinctions are part of a column written by the Virginia Asian Advisory Board in today’s Virginia Mercury. They write: “In an already anti-immigrant environment, Asians, particularly Chinese, are reportedly facing increasing acts of racism.”

They report that businesses with Asian-sounding names are being shunned, Uber and Lyft drivers are not giving rides of people based on their names and the social media is filled with stories critical of Asians, which is nuts because Asia is even more diverse than Europe.

Donald Trump, our Incompetent in Chief, is leading the charge for demeaning Asians by insisting on calling the virus the “Chinese Flu.”

During the 2016 campaign, he constantly put down Mexicans and other Latinos. That summer I was taken aback when I was at my neighborhood swimming pool. A group of what looked like eighth-grade boys was splashing around shouting “Mexico sucks!” I stopped them and asked them why they were saying that. They said, “That’s what Donald Trump says.” Continue reading

About that Annoying Delay…


We apologize for that irritating five-second delay it takes to open up the Bacon’s Rebellion blog. We experienced some blackouts yesterday, which our Internet Service Provider (ISP) diagnosed as a possible Denial of Service attack. Apparently, the attack was directed at Bacon’s Rebellion and not other websites on the same server. We will remove this safeguard once we are confident the attack (or whatever problem it is) is over.

Several years ago, Bacon’s Rebellion experienced a devastating Denial of Service attack that knocked us out for several days. One of the things we have done with readers’ donations is subscribe to a more secure and more responsive (and more expensive) ISP. So, thanks to your generosity, Bacon’s Rebellion is still rebelling!

— JAB

A More Urgent Question than Ever: Who Will Cover the News?

by James A. Bacon

Governor Ralph Northam and the 2020 General Assembly has engineered one of the greatest assaults on the middle class in Virginia history. You would never imagine that from reading the coverage by Virginia’s news outlets, whose reporters and editorial writers are so in sync with the new Democratic majority that the only controversies worth noting are intramural skirmishes within the liberal/progressive movement. (Well, the media did get around eventually to taking note of the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement, but only after it had spread to all corners of the state.)

The current generation of journalists literally cannot imagine any other way of looking at the issues. The topics highlighted here on Bacon’s Rebellion — the tax hikes and clawbacks, the heaping of new costs onto electricity ratepayers, the institutionalization of identity politics in schools and government — barely make it into the news articles, much less the headlines. Virginians may have elected a Democratic majority, but they did not vote for a revolution in governance. They have no idea what is about to hit them. And they likely won’t know it until it actually does hit them, because they won’t read or hear about it in the dominant media outlets.

Against this backdrop, we learn that the Virginian-Pilot, once the strongest voice in Virginia journalism, is consolidating offices with the Daily News. The shriveled Pilot news staff now will cover news for the 1.1 million inhabitants of Hampton Roads south of the James River from the Daily Press office north of the river. (See Kerry Dougherty’s column today for details.) This development follows the relentless decimation of newsrooms in other newspapers across Virginia. Their ultimate demise seems inevitable. Continue reading

Finished with the Second Amendment Virginia Dems Now Attack the First (and Sixth)

By DJ Rippert

Sticks and stones? Del. Jeffrey M. Bourne, D-Richmond, has introduced HB1627.  The bill is entitled, “Threats and harassment of certain officials and property; venue.”  The proposed legislation strengthens a series of very questionable laws already on the books.

The first few sections of the existing law make it illegal to make threats in written communications to kill or do bodily injury to a person in a variety of occupations and situations. For example, threats to elementary school, middle school or high school employees are called out in the existing legislation. Similarly, threats made on school buses, on school property, or against health care providers are also explicitly illegal. Beyond wondering why certain classes of people or places deserve extra protection from death threats or threats of bodily harm the existing legislation seems pretty straightforward. Ill-conceived and overly limited but straightforward.

Then comes the section entitled, “Harassment by computer, penalty.” This section goes well beyond outlawing death threats and threats of bodily harm. It specifically references Virginia state politicians as needing legal protection from such things as threatening illegal or “immoral” acts. Continue reading

New Theme for Bacon’s Rebellion Header

Inspired by recent events and growing cynicism, I have installed a new slew of header images for the blog. Can you guess the theme?

Here’s a clue: Great Dismal _____.

— JAB

National Mental Breakdown

The United States is having a mental breakdown. Two mass shootings in a single day is a sure sign that the polarization and viciousness of our politics is a reflection of a broader social sickness. Social cohesion is disintegrating. Mistrust is spreading. Rancorous rhetoric is displacing reasoned discourse. People are seeking refuge in tribal identities and wallowing in hate. Our national psyche is the most venomous it has been since the 1960s — the difference being that we don’t even have a massively unpopular war as an excuse for our divisions.

President Trump is part of the problem. The nation looks to its presidents to unite the country. Trump’s tweets are calculated to inflame his enemies and drive them to excess. And they succeed all too well. Democrats, shouting through their Mainstream Media bullhorn, depict Republicans and Trump supporters as bigots, racists, traitors, and xenophobes. Doubt me? Just watch MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” which feeds its million viewers every day with two hours of invective and bile.

The economy is booming and we’re engaged in no major foreign wars. Americans ought to be feeling good about themselves. But we’re miserable. People have advanced a variety of theories for our increasing division. Gerrymandering, some say, is creating safe districts for extremists in both parties. The fragmentation of media allows people to live in information echo chambers. Those play a role, but I think the malaise runs deeper. Society is atomizing. Civic society is in decline — more and more people are “bowling alone.” More people are feeling disconnected and alienated. The ties that bind us are dangerously fraying. Mental illness is endemic. Continue reading

Expanded Roster at Bacon’s Rebellion

Bacon’s Rebellion is pleased to add two contributors to its line-up, one a familiar face… and one a familiar face but from a totally different context.

Long-time readers will recognize Peter Galuszka, a free-lance writer and researcher based in Chesterfield County. Peter, a frequent contributor to the blog at one time, has rejoined us after a hiatus of a few years. A former executive editor of Virginia Business magazine, reporter at the Virginian-Pilot and Richmond Times-Dispatch, and correspondent and editor for Business Week, he brings an in-depth knowledge of the Virginia political, business, and public-policy scene. Peter, whom I fondly refer to as the Rebellion’s resident “left-wing maniac,” will inject a left-of-center perspective into the blog.

Even longer-time readers will remember the name of Philip Shucet, known in Virginia public policy circles as commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation during the Warner administration and as a turn-around artist for troubled transportation projects in Hampton Roads. Upon reaching retirement, the Norfolk resident began reinventing himself as a documentary photographer. He fits perfectly the Bacon’s Rebellion profile of a cranky old man (and the occasional cranky old woman) willing to contribute the fruit of his labors without pay. We look forward to publishing his photography on the blog.

Give a Warm Bacon’s Rebellion Welcome to Dick Hall-Sizemore

I am pleased to announce that Richard W. “Dick” Hall-Sizemore has joined the stable of semi-regular contributors to Bacon’s Rebellion. Dick has haunted the halls of Capitol Square for some 40 years, first as a legislative aide, then as a local government lobbyist, and in the past 25 years as a policy analyst with the Department of Planning and Budget. His knowledge of Virginia’s public policy issues has few parallels. He knows where the bodies — bodies of data, that is — are buried within the Labyrinth of Virginia’s state bureaucracy, and he has keen analytical abilities, which were on display in guest columns on this blog.

Dick shares Bacon’s Rebellion’s passion for probing deeper than the sound bites that dominate our political discourse and for engaging in a civil dialogue. Although his views are more centrist than other prominent voices on this blog (well, mine anyway), we welcome reasoned perspectives different from ours, and we look forward to hearing what he has to say. Continue reading

Passing the Digital Tin Cup

Dear Bacon’s Rebellion readers,

This is the beginning of a new year, the time when many online publications hit up their readers for donations (see the “subscribe” button in the upper left-hand corner). While we will gladly accept your contributions, which we apply to an upgraded hosting package and other services that improve our blogging productivity and your reader experience, but I hate to bludgeon you with annoying appeals for money.

Instead, there are better ways you can help. You can help us grow the publication.

The thing that keeps Steve Haner, Don Rippert and me pumping out in-depth news and commentary from a conservative/libertarian perspective is the hope that we might be making a difference. How do we tell if we’re making a difference? One obvious way is by the number of readers we reach.  Continue reading