Well, it was four years ago on this day when yours truly decided to sit down and start this blog. True, this past year I've slowed down a little. But the fire's still burning and the next year is going to be quite a drama. So stay tuned.
Thanks for your support and contributions. Keep reading!
Yesterday morning at 7:30 the clan (with a “c,” libs. Don’t get excited) and I headed out to Bookends book store in the quaint town of Ridgewood, NJ. Why? Because Sean Hannity had announced on the radio he’d be signing his new book Conservative Victory. He also said he’d buy everyone doughnuts and coffee—which he did.
Even though we had arrived at the store more than a half hour before the 9:00 signing began, the line of fans was already down the street and around the corner. I took until around 10:30 to finally meet Sean, but that gave everyone on line time to converse with those around them.
Assuming Sean Hannity fans would also comprise the Tea Party movement, let me say that Keith Olbermann is right (!!!). Well, mostly. As my kids got more and more restless, I would walk with them up and down the street past the crowd of about five-six hundred, and to be sure, many of them were over 50 and white. But, where Olbermann and the leftocracy go dreadfully wrong is how they perceive and interpret these facts.
Let’s talk first about the “old people” stereotype. Why does the leftocracy consider it an insult if many Tea Partiers are at or near retirement age? These are people who worked their tails off their entire adult lives and are now worried that their government has short changed their children and grandchildren and are denying them the American Dream they obtained through their hard work. Hey Lefties, the “Don’t trust anyone over 30” thing? That got old (pun intended) by the McGovern campaign.
I was honored to be standing in line with tons of people my parents’ age. All these people are parents and are looking out for their children and everyone’s children. Or, in Rosie O’Donnell’s parlance, these were mothers and fathers.
Besides, there’s nothing more frightening than a leftist anti-[fill in the blank] rally with aging hippies with their boobs hanging down so far past their knees even Susan Sarandon would go WTF, and tattoos dripping like a Dali painting off their wrinkled skin. Despite 40 years of demonstrable proof that so much of what they fought for in the 60’s resulted in disaster upon disaster, these folks still believe wholeheartedly in their failed ideology. But you’ll never catch the Democrat-media complex insulting them as an angry mob of old people.
Certainly, it wasn’t only older people in Ridgewood. There were also young families like us, with young children in tow or in a stroller. I saw groups of teenaged girls reading Sean’s book as they waited in line. To one group of sisters I said, “Keep reading, there’s going to be a test when you meet Sean.”
Second, let’s consider the racial make-up of this line of Hannity fans. Of about six hundred fans, I counted four black people. But they seemed to be like that black guy who humiliated Norah O’Donnell on NBC news when he answered in the negative the question, “Don’t you feel uncomfortable being around all these white people???” They didn’t look uncomfortable at all, neither did anyone surrounding them. In fact, given the friendly atmosphere of the crowd, I walked right up to one black man in his 50’s and missing several teeth and said jokingly, “What are you doing here? Don’t you know you’re an Uncle Tom or some other offensive name they call you?” The man chuckled, shook my hand, and answered, “I’ve done more for America than that whole Democratic Party!”
There was another thing about all these whiiiite people: They weren’t really white, meaning they weren’t all WASPy “reckneck” whites. Almost everyone I spoke to on line were first- or second-generation non-black immigrants. The man behind us was a chess champion who came to the U.S. from Ukraine in 1977. A Jewish man, having raised his family in New York City and north Jersey, he now has two grandchildren and is scared to death about their future. Who better to evaluate the condition of this government than a former citizen of the Soviet Union!
The woman in front of us was from northern Greece. Having just turned 65, she was full of piss and vinegar and actually got Sean to agree to let her kiss him on the cheek while someone took her picture! Her fear about the direction of this country was the same as the Ukrainian’s. While we were on line, she related to us the day she she became an American citizen (yes, imagine that, she was a legal alien!), which occurred decades ago, but she never forgot it.
Third, the couple in front of her was in their 70’s. The husband was Turkish, so he was more olive-skinned than white.
Finally, while my wife and kids stood on the line to meet Sean, I had to get onto a separate line to purchase the book, and pick up some of Sean’s complimentary doughnuts and coffee. Directly behind me was a Hispanic man in his 50’s who grew up in the Bronx, in the same neighboorhood as my mother and mother-in-law. The gentleman in front of me was also probably in his 50’s and appeared to be from Southeast Asia (Vietnam? Laos? Phillipines?). When we weren’t chatting, he spend the time on line taking pictures of the apple blossoms on the trees lining the sidewalk.
This was the most heart-warming aspect of the entire crowd: That there were so many first- and second-generation immigrants on line to meet Sean Hannity and support the 2010 conservative comeback. These people know what it was like coming to America from their homeland, and they know that it is under attack from the radical government that currently control it. No doubt the Tea Parties are the same, maybe not everywhere, but definitely in multicultural New Jersey. But Olbermann and the leftocracy would have you believe that we’re just a bunch of racist whiiite people pissed off that there’s a black man in the White House. Whatever.
Like I said, it was a friendly atmosphere. I passed out business cards with VM’s URL on it while announcing in my best Levin voice, “Who wants free government cheese?”
Meeting Sean was exhilerating, but quick. All there was time for was for him to sign my two books, shake my hand, pat my young son on the head, and respond in kind to my “You’re a great American.” His handlers let my wife snap a picture, and sent us on our way. Sean had to have met 400 people before me that morning, so I don’t begrudge being rushed.
All in all, yesterday was a great day to be an American, and to be among great Americans.
Coincidentally, this entry is post #999. I would have exceeded a thousand posts over the weekend had a nasty respiratory infection not incapacitated me.
In any case, how time has flown! There were a lot of exciting milestones you’ve shared with me in the second year of this blog. New friends, new features, new traffic records.
Two posts in particular resulted in a significant spike in traffic that lasted a fews days each. The first one was during the (in)famous April 15 Tea Parties. While commenting on the mainstream media’s pathetic coverage of the Tea Parties, I discovered that NBC TV’s Washington D.C. affiliate's website was airing footage of a faux Tea Party, i.e., left-wing activists mocking what they thought Tea Parties were like. Amy Ridenour of National Center for Public Policy was gracious enough to check my lead and post my findings on NewsBusters. That was just awesome.
The second post was a May 22 entry on the thwarted bombing of a synagogue in Riverdale, NY. You could’ve knocked me over with a feature when I saw an excess of 2000 hits to VM from … wait for it: www.AnnCoulter.com! Don’t know what I did to deserve the link, but thanks.
In VM’s second year we took on the climate change fanatics. One post of note, from November 18, 2008, covered how Al Gore’s right-hand man James Hansen was caught cooking the numbers on climate data—and not for the first time either!
A recommended “wrap-up” post is this one from January 10, entitled “2008: The Year Man-Made Global Warming Hysteria Was Sunk by an Iceberg”.
My biggest global warming post, however, was definitely February 4, when I chronicled my debate with a global warming activist who had just spent 45 minutes indoctrinating a room full of impressionable young teenagers. This entry enjoyed much popularity and received congratulatory commentary from my readership. Unfortunately, this confrontation occurred at my place of employment, and my superiors were less than pleased with my conduct. Lesson learned: Be careful where you express your political views; it could become dangerous!
One new thing added this year was the Listen & Learn category, where you can hear clips of my favorite pundits doing what they do best: comment on the issues of the day with passion and principle.
Back in Auguest I started a Rite Quotes series, which is intended to comprise a chapter-by-chapter summary of my favorite books. I only made it to Chapter 2 of Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny before fizzling out. I promise to get this one started up again soon!
This year I even had the opportunity (or more like the moral obligation) to criticize a right-wing Zionist organization. Their website, Masada 2000, contains a “S.H.I.T.” list of essentially every Jew who doesn’t subscribe to their radical point of view on the Middle East. This, I think, is the only post to which Jewish right-wingers commented with abusive and profane objections. Even though the post was written in June, comments have been coming in as recently as two weeks ago.
I’m grateful for three guest bloggers: Loud Lion who writes the Weekly Roar (or not so weekly — hint hint!). See, for example, his July 18 piece on the death of Mary Jo Kopechne and a family squabble. (Lesson learned: Be careful where you express your political views; it could become dangerous!)
On April 15 at a local Tea Party, I made a new friend “benjaminTheDonkey,” who in September contributed his thought-provoking series on propaganda.
My third guest bloggers is actually a liberal. In the month of July, I made a bet with my a lefty-Democrat friend Leah that if she listens to Rush Limbaugh for three days and comment on it, I’ll watch three days of the Rachel Maddow show. And so we did.
This was an excellent way for friends on the other side of the political aisle to see first hand what makes us tick. Granted, passions were high — you should see some of the emails between us while this bet was taking place — but we both made it through without throwing large appliances either at each other or at the hosts we were analyzing. In any case, you will probably not be surprised that my watching Rachel Maddow made me no more liberal and Leah’s following Rush made her no more conservative!
As soon as Leah is ready (she’s having a baby really soon), we’ll most likely do this again.
Here are each of our posts for the three days. They’re lengthy and quite detailed, but worth a skim in my humble opinion:
So here’s to another year of Vocal Minority. As long as Obama’s digital brownshirts don’t end up regulating the blogosphere (ya know, for “fairness,” blah blah blah), I plan on still being here! Thanks to all my devoted readers and commenters. Hope to see you here soon.
... well, new for me anyway. Over the past few months I've been getting traffic to VM on AlphaInventions, a website, which plays blogs sort of like a slideshow. It's quite addictive. If you have time to watch it for a few minutes, you can see a different blog every few seconds. Thanks to AlphaInventions visitors to this modest blog has increased several fold.
Apparently the blog surfing idea is catching on, and more sites are being created. So now I'm trying condron.us a try. If you're visiting me from there, welcome.
First, a couple weeks ago I posted about a liberal co-worker who I caught bashing and insulting Rush Limbaugh. I wrote:
[A]n Obama-adoring coworker was gloating over the news of how the “narrow-minded” Republican Party was fizzling, and that it was the fault of Rush Limbaugh, whom she insulted as brash, unintelligent, hateful, and ignorant. (For those who actually understand, and most don’t, Rush Limbaugh is first and foremost a conservative. That the GOP is the (occasional) party conservatives give their vote is secondary.) I informed this coworker that I actually listen to Rush every day, to which she expressed genuine sober surprise, “Oh, I did not know that.” I then asked her if she ever listened to Rush Limbaugh. Of course she didn’t. All she needs to know is whatever the leftists in the media tell her. There’s no other place where she would have gotten this impression. So I bet her $100 in cash to listen to Rush every day for one week. She couldn’t do it. I kept pushing the bet for several minutes, but she kept refusing.
Well, since then this coworker has agreed, for a yet-to-be determined price (if any), to listen to one Rush show of my choosing. I’m thinking of giving her a recording of his CPAC speech. As the school year is quickly winding to a close, time is of the essence. Any thoughts?
On a similar topic, I’ve decided to use this summer as an opportunity to take a bold but necessary step in my personal edification. I say “bold” because it’s going to put me far outside my comfort zone. I say “necessary” because I realized if I’m going to maintain VM as an informative and authoritave blog, I need to be as informed as possible.
So what step am I talking about? I’m going to read the publications that have most influenced modern liberal/Democrat thinking. In fact, this past weekend I put my money where my mouth is by purchasing a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals—the bible of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other prominent Leftists.
Why did I start with Rules for Radicals? Mainly because for well over a year I have heard commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin cite this book. While these hosts recite selected passages whenever the latest Obamanation occurs, I realized it would be helpful to read the book in its entirety.
My question for readers is: What other books should I read? (And please, no Al Franken or Michael Moore. I want to be informed by somewhat quasi-sentient people, not mud-slinging lefty hacks.)
Thanks in advance. And if any of you would like to read certain books along with me over the summer and form a kind of “Liberal Book Club for Righties,” let me know. Not only would it be informative, but therapeutic as well!
Some upcoming work projects are preventing me from blogging at length, if at all, over the next couple weeks. (I know, a blogger has to have a day job? What’s up with that? There’s got to be some sort of blogger bailout money in the Dems’ 1000+ page monstrosity!)
So, feel free to browse the VM archives; there’s plenty of hyperbole and hate speech to go around. And don’t forget to visit my friends on the blogroll. The sites Roman Around, Proof Positive, Diversity Lane, and What Bubba Knows have been sending a bit of traffic my way as of late. Allow me to return the favor.
I’ll be back full force in March … with a vengeance!
Having blogged for one year and two months, I've come to realize one of the most challenging parts of blogging isn't coming up with content, isn't keeping my writing creative and interesting, but attracting readers. The blogosphere is mind-blowingly immense. Hundreds of millions of people go on-line every day.
So how does lil' ol' me get traffic to my lil' ol' blog. Word of mouth is always appreciated. Being blogrolled at other sites also helps.
But one of the things that always gives a satisfying little bump to my list of visits is a site called AlphaInventions.com. It displays a new blog every few seconds in real time, meaning whenever that blog is updated. So, as soon as a blogger posts or updates an entry, it enters the AlphaInventions cycle. It's quite an addictive site. Just leave it on and watch it for a few minutes and you're bound to find a blog you never heard of before and add it to your favorites.
So thanks, AlphaInventions, for helping addicted web surfers find me.
There is a both a good side and bad side to Facebook.
On the one hand, you have this amazing opportunity to catch up with old schoolmates you haven’t even thought about in decades, let alone seen them. Memories of birthday parties, school functions, not to mention plays and concerts (if you were a music/drama geek like me) flow back like ice water poured on your head. It’s heartwarming to see these people you knew as a kid now raising their own kids and see where they ended up in life, career, and location.
The bad side is that there are also people you don’t want to see. Being a music/drama geek, I was ripe for ridicule. Growing up I was the one picked last in gym, who got shoved into lockers, whose chair got pulled from under him in the cafeteria, who got teased by the girls sitting in front of him who were getting D’s but didn’t care. All for the amusement of those kids who knew they were big enough and strong enough and “cool” enough to get away with it.
What was worse was when some of the parents were just as cruel as their children. And so it came as no surprise that when the school bully’s father ends up being your soccer coach, he’s just as much of a bastard to you as his son is.
So how do you respond when you deal with a bully—or an entire bully family—as I did as a child? Well, naturally, you wish the worst upon such people. You hope that those kids who made your life a living hell grow up to suffer a living hell of their own. After all, they can’t be too intelligent to begin with, so how far can they go in the academic or business world? Bullies are generally the kids who’ve already figured out by the time they’re in junior high that their life journey will be taking them no further than the fryer at the McDonalds, right? The ones who are in their 30’s and still single, or who have gone through a bitter divorce because their ex just couldn’t live with their temper anymore.?
But that didn’t happen to this guy. There I was innocently skimming the infinite pages of Facebook when, bam, there he was. And you know what? He was successful. Very successful. Huge house, huge pool, fast cars, his own business, and (seemingly) a beautiful family. Sure, you might be thinking, but does all that wealth really mean he’s happy? All the posted pictures seem to point that way. I can’t imagine that the smiles in those photos can all have been faked.
Here's the funny thing: Reading this guy's posts on the walls of our would-be mutual friends, I discover that he's actually warm and endearing, i.e., like a decent human being. So that gets me thinking: Maybe he turned out nice after all. A lot of people who are jerks as kids eventually grow up, right? Or, could I have just been overreacting as an insecure, sensitive and hopelessly unathletic child?
Looking into the eyes of someone who was a real bastard to me during my childhood, and into the eyes of his bully coach father who now smiles in pictures from his grandchildren’s bar mitzvah’s … it’s hard to know for sure.
There is a both a good side and bad side to Facebook.
Today this modest little blog celebrates its one-year anniversary. In addition, by sheer coincidence, VM got its 10,000th page view in the wee hours of the morning. (Big deal, right? Drudge probably gets that every twenty minutes.) Still, your faithful blog-keeper is just as impassioned and dedicated as one year ago. Perhaps even more so, considering the presidential election is just two days away.
It has been interesting watching Vocal Minority slowly but surely make its mark on the vast political blogosphere. One year ago VM was lucky to get five page views per day. By the time summer rolled around, it was getting anywhere from 10 average daily views (the week of August 10) to 39 (the week of July 20). Then, in September, visits inexplicably increased to 50 average daily views, and rose steadily even up to this past week, during which the average daily views was 91. If I can get my daily hits consistently over three figures within the next few months, I would consider it a remarkable accomplishment.
Compared to other blogs, such numbers would be considered embarrassing, such milestones laughable. But to me, every one of your visits is important. “EricTheRed” feels bullish in ’09!
The most important day in the first year of VM was definitely June 22. I had provided blogger Tom Blumer at NewsBusters some new information on a certain individual he had written about. Blumer was grateful enough to post my findings and hat-tip me at NewsBusters. That following day VM got a record number of 166 hits. (That record wasn’t broken until October 17, with 173.) To this day, my June 22 post gets more hits than any other entry.
I also won’t forget last November 16. That was the day I decided to offically leave the Reform Movement due to its intrusive left-wing politics. Having posted an entry about it, I called into the Dennis Prager show. A clip of that conversation appears on that day’s post..
Finally, in VM’s first year, there have been 336 posts, 225 comments, a handful of citations and links on the blogosphere (but no trackbacks), and one piece of hate mail. Thanks to those of you who have commented regularly, including “LoudLion,” “DanTheMyth,” “kastrioti,” and “SteveCohn.” Hope to keep hearing from you.
So thank you all and keep visiting and commenting. And please spread the word to your friends!
A happy Independence Day to all, and to all a good day.
- From all of us here at Vocal Minority.
This is the first time I can remember when July 4 falls on a Friday, and when I will be at synagogue! I'm friends with lots of clergy and everyone seems to be doing the same thing: BBQ followed at sundown by worship services. One song we'll be singing tonight is called “Let the Heavens Be Glad,” an ‘80s favorite of the Reform Movement. The words come the book of Leviticus, and paraphrase the following words:
Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.
This, by the way, is the inscription on the Liberty Bell.
Every American, particulary every American Jews should know that the inscription on the Liberty Bell is from that part of the Bible that we share with Christianity and other major religions.
I'll be taking off from blogging, and practically everything else for that matter, as the wife and I prepare for the arrival for our new bundle of joy. He/She was supposed to have been born last weekend, but since when does a baby actually adhere to the calculated due date???
This weekend, or Monday morning at the very latest, will be the real thing, whether baby likes it or not!
In the meantime, take some time to read some of my older posts.
And maybe "Loud Lion" or someone else would like to be a guest contributor? (Hint hint)
This is a memorable day for a number of reasons: Today marks the 7-month anniversary of the blog. Yay! In addition, this is coincidentally my 200th post.
Most importantly, though, it is most likely going to be the birthday of baby #2, whose due date came and went this weekend. As soon as we drop #1 off at day care, the wife and I are off to the doctor to discuss inducing labor.
Catch ya on the flip side!
UPDATE: Little “Drake” wasn’t ready to come out yet, so unless it decides to visit us by the end of the week, we have an ultrasound scheduled for Friday.