Category Archives: Blogs and blog administration

The Blunderbuss: Your Daily Blast of Reality

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

Introducing The Jefferson Council Website

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!”

Continue reading

Note to Readers: Changes Coming to Comments

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.

— JAB 

WaPo Nabs Polk Award, Is Pulitzer Next?

Ian Shapira

By Peter Galuszka

How ironical.

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

What Texas’s Crisis Means for Virginia

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

Can “Medium” Save Local Journalism?

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

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

And You Thought 2021 Couldn’t Be Any Worse than 2020…

Jeanine’s memes

Big Changes Coming to Bacon’s Rebellion

Dear Readers,

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

Jeanine’s Memes

Jeanine’s week in memes.

COVID, Stimulus Checks, and Babies with Guns

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

Note to Readers Re: Technical Issues

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.

— JAB

Time to Be Honest about COVID-19

By Peter Galuszka

Two remarkable stories dominate headlines this morning – Donald Trump has COVID-19 and some 5,000 Virginia college students also have the virus.

The infection of Trump throws an already chaotic presidential race into further confusion. State colleges are scrambling to find what to do about viral infections since the numbers have exploded from about 500 a month ago to 5,000 today.

This is no time to say, “I told you so,” but many on this blog really need to ask themselves about their efforts to minimize the worst health crisis the nation has faced. Already 205,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, but somehow that has not deterred the naysayers.

We have seen a steady and often snarky campaign to reopen Virginia Beach, send kids back to school too soon, reopen business and blame Gov. Ralph Northam for trying to take needed precautions that just about every other state governor has done. Continue reading

Systemic Racism? What’s That?

By Peter Galuszka

At Bacon’s Rebellion there’s a constant, grating mantra debunking the concept that the U.S. has a serious problem with “Institutional” or “Systemic” Racism.

Slavery? Jim Crow? Irrelevant! We’re treated to commentary after commentary that Blacks just need to try harder. They are lazy. They do not support family values. They get too much wasted money in school spending and health care. Their constant abuse by law enforcement is imaginary. Black Lives Matters is a hateful, racist movement. BLM jeopardizes our values. Students interested in the movement were not “indoctrinated” enough. It’s bad enough if it comes up in public schools, but let BLM come up at a toney private institution in a wealthy, mostly White suburb, then it is a blood libel against every private school headmaster in the country.

For a partial list of blog postings with ideas, please see the URLs at the end of this column.

Ok. So what? Well, this morning I saw a small story in The Washington Post that shocked me since it went right to the heart of Institutional and/or Systemic Racism. If you still don’t believe it exists, read on. Continue reading

Check out My Political-Economy-of-Healthcare Webinar

I’ll be talking about the political economy of healthcare in Virginia 7:00 p.m. Wednesday (tomorrow) in a webinar hosted by Your Freedom Hub. Bacon’s Rebellion readers recalling the posts that Jim Sherlock and I have written about the power of hospital cartels will find the subject matter familiar. But I’ll be previewing some new data showing precisely how oligopolistic market power translates into higher charges for everything from colonoscopies to tonsillectomies.

Click here to sign up for the webinar.

— JAB

BR’s COVID-19 Parallel Universe

By Peter Galuszka

Almost every morning, I wake up a little before dawn, make coffee, let the dog out and feed her and start reading the news.

I take The Washington Post in print along with The New York Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Virginian-Pilot, NBC News, various television stations and, of course, Bacon’s Rebellion online.

Later in the morning, I check out Blue Virginia, Virginia Mercury and RVA.

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, every morning I step into two different universes.

One gives me the global and national view that jumps right in and explains where we are with the virus and who and what are at risk.

The other view, that of Bacon’s Rebellion, mostly paints a very different picture. This view insists that the pandemic is exaggerated and overrated, needless regulations are being enacted by a dictatorial governor, our school system and housing trends are at risk and we should open everything up right now. Continue reading