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    When I was drafting my post about the attack on two French Jews by a boycott movement gang, I saw on the Dashboard that we had reached our 15,000th published post.  That would be Aleister's post, Clinton War Room Targets “Cash” Author. Why do we do it? We do it for the Honor and the Glory. For the Honor of things like having a student get arrested for reading a Legal Insurrection blog post out loud during a protest. (The charges later were dropped, because this is still America, F-yeah!) Seriously, how many other blogs, magazines or newspapers can say that someone was arrested for reading their writing out loud? https://youtu.be/YnYel6Ro5F0?t=41s There have been many other honors, mostly meeting or interacting with the readers, authors, bloggers and others I have met along the way. More than once I've crossed the cyber-real world divide, and will again when I meet the families of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner during my upcoming trip to Israel.  (My wife thinks we should organize a Legal Insurrection trip to Israel next year - what do you think?)

    SHREVEPORT --About six years ago, in May 2009, I received an outraged email from Stacy McCain. He had just learned that the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee) had endorsed Charlie Crist in the 2010 Florida Senate race fifteen months before the primary. As you may recall, Mel Martinez was retiring and so this was an open seat which as it happens had an up-and-coming, very promising conservative Marco Rubio vying for the seat against Crist.  Rubio was just out of his former position as Speaker of the House in Florida. A host of other conservatives, such as Michelle Malkin, Erick Erickson and John Hawkins, also were furious that the NRSC would attempt to trump the voters in a state race and endorse Crist who had by that time already shown some allegiance to Barack Obama by supporting the stimulus plan. The NRSC endorsement ignited a grassroots campaign for the charismatic and conservative Rubio, and the Not One Red Cent blog was born.  Within two weeks the blog had already hit thousands of readers. I was one of the writers on that blog in those early days. I’d like to believe that our writing helped propel Rubio’s campaign as he gained momentum and eventually dominated Crist in that election.  The blog was born on May 15, 2009 with Stacy McCain doing the first thirteen posts.  My first post was number 14 on May 16, 2009. Within the week, Carol’s Closet was on board, as was No Sheeples Here and Doug Hagin.  We picked up a few others along the way.  In May 2009, we put up fifty-seven posts on Not One Red Cent; by the end of 2009 we had posted 146 times, but by the end of the year Rubio had picked up significant steam and was crushing Crist in the polls.

    "Blogger Burnout" is a frequent joke around here. But it's true. Andrew Sullivan quit blogging in late January 2015, as we reported at the time Breaking – Big Blogger Burns Out. Sullivan's announcement focused mostly on a desire to change paths:
    Why? Two reasons. The first is one I hope anyone can understand: although it has been the most rewarding experience in my writing career, I’ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). …. The second is that I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again…. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book…. When I write again, it will be for you, I hope – just in a different form. I need to decompress and get healthy for a while; but I won’t disappear as a writer. But this much I know: nothing will ever be like this again, which is why it has been so precious; and why it will always be a part of me, wherever I go; and why it is so hard to finish this sentence and publish this post.
    Sullivan now is the focus of a report at CNN, Andrew Sullivan: Blogging nearly killed me:

    We did it, we really did it. After years of reader requests, nay demands, for a mobile phone template we did it.  It is NOT AN APP. Don't ask me how you get the App.  You don't need to download anything. Apps are so three years ago. It's a full blown mobile tempate. Like building a whole spankin' new blog. Just smaller. And simpler. And hopefully able to load and navigate on your phone more easily. Since over 25% of our traffic comes via phones, it's the least we could do for you.  Isn't that mighty nice of us? (Applause) (added) You can always choose to use the full desktop template on your phone (see image at bottom of post). Much thanks to Andy LoCascio and his team at Sound Strategies. The featured image has the narrow banner you will see, with the top post below it. There is a navigation drop-down menu that looks like this:

    Blogger Burnout. A frequent topic here, first visited on January 15, 2009, Add “Blogger Burnout” To The List Of Blogger Ailments. For those of you keeping track, that would be about 3 months after I started Legal Insurrection. Three months! Even then I realized that being a blogger could be about the most burning-out of things. After a while, I got Sick and Tired of Blogger Burnout Stories:
    Okay, blogging is tough. We get it. Great Grandma and Grandpa had it easy, with rotary phones and all (“You mean your Great Grandparents had a phone?”). If I hear another blogger complain about blogger burnout, I’m going to scream.... Let me guess, you worked the fields all day, so you don’t have the strength to push down on the keyboard with your bloodied, swollen fingers? ... Haven’t you figured it out, there is only one original blog post which, like the source yeast at the Guinness brewery, has been kept alive for generations so that others may cut from and paste to it. It’s not rocket science.
    Yet I endured. Somehow. Somewhere. There was a place for us. Somewhere, a place for us in this internet.

    This was a tough year. We lost two of Legal Insurrection's biggest fans, my in-laws, who after 68 years of marriage died a couple of months apart this summer. Our friend, reader, commenter and one-time photoshop "director" Patricia also lost her husband John. We also lost two of our dogs in a tragic incident two months ago. We're big dog lovers, and it's hard to get over. Mandy's severe stroke in early September, just two days before she was to come on board at Legal Insurrection full time to run the place, has left a cloud over everything that has happened since. The latest update from Mandy's mother:
    This New Year’s Eve Mandy is home. Different therapists come to the home to provide rehab. She can walk short distances with my help and a left handed walker. She still has no use of her right arm but can feel some sensation. In addition to her IPad that has Apps on it, she is now using a speech recognition device which will help her to communicate. She understands most of what is said to her but cannot respond verbally. Surgery to re-attach her skull is scheduled for Jan. 8th. She is deeply touched and so very grateful to everyone who has donated, sent notes and gifts, prayers and good wishes. I believe 2015 is going to be a good year. Happy and healthy New Year to everyone.
    I spoke with Mandy almost daily in the 18 months after joining us but before her stroke, and I was so looking forward to handing off many of the administrative and editorial responsibilities to someone I trusted and whose blog strategy and thinking were intuitively aligned with mine. Based on the updates from her mom, I don't expect that Mandy can return to us anytime in the foreseeable future, although there always will be a place here for her to do whatever she wants and can. It wasn't a bad year as relates to the blog activity itself.

    As we wrap-up another eventful year, I wanted to share some favorite posts featuring the many diverse areas I cover as part of Professor Jacobson's wonderful team of authors.

    Infectious Diseases: “Health and Safety Moms” Could Swing 2014 Elections

    I was nothing if not optimistic about the election results this November, but the combination of the government's response to the Ebola epidemic combined with its ignoring a virus spreading among school children that looks as if it can cause paralysis angered mom's across the country.  The final results, especially with the US Senate, were even better than I had hoped.

    Tea Party: Did Carl DeMaio have any choice but to run from Tea Party label in #CA52?

    After losing to "filthy" Bob Filner in the San Diego mayor's race of 2012, Republican Carl DeMaio ran against a Democrat Scott Peters for the 52nd District house seat -- and lost.  It could be argued that DeMaio's distancing himself from grassroots conservatives cost him this close election.  However, it shows Tea Party activists still have some chops -- even after we have been declared "dead" on several different occasions.  Underestimate  us at your own peril, especially if you intend to run as a "conservative".

    India: The Indian economy is shaking like a Bollywood dancer

    India has the potential to be a real world power and a great regional counter-balance to China.  Perhaps the biggest story from that country in 2014 was the election of  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had  a pro-capitalism and  pro-Israel platform.  His appearance at a packed Madison Square Garden event in New York City was met with great enthusiasm -- the kind President Obama can now only dream of.

    Ah, the comment section. Sometime later today into tomorrow, we will hit our 300,000th comment. In 6 years. That's not a lot compared to some websites, but it's a lot here. And the pace has picked up dramatically in the past couple of years. We seem to be running close to 10,000 comments a month (that's just a guesstimate). We "try" to keep things under control by not using third-party comment software such as Disqus -- which means you have to register here specifically. That cuts down on drive-by commenters and flame throwers, which helps keep the comment section relatively (by comparison to other websites) civil. But it also cuts down on the number of people who comment, and likely cuts down on our traffic. Having massive fights in the comment section is what drives some websites to have several hundred to several thousand comments for a single post. That's not to say sometimes things don't get rough, but we appreciate that our commenters generally don't go there. Policing the comment section is a drag, and with our volume and staff, difficult. In the end, though, I think it's worth keeping comments open. It creates a sense of community and shared purpose. We have shared election victories and losses, graduations, promotions, deaths and births. Some commenters have crossed the cyber/real world barrier, and communicated off site with each other, and with me. I count some of our commenters as real world friends now, and the comment secton was how I located one of our authors (Andrew Branca).

    You may not be aware that Dana Loesch of The Blaze makes videos. This new Thanksgiving related spot is pretty funny. In what should come as a surprise to no one, Loesch isn't a fan of fake turkey. I couldn't agree more. Would you believe Tofurky has been around for 20 years?

    Thanks to many for making this Thanksgiving so meaningful. This is not an exhaustive list, but it's a good start:
    • The Wife. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary earlier this year.
    • The Kids. Three great ones.
    • Health, and Mandy's recovery.
    • The U.S. of A. Still the place to be.
    • The Constitution and Bill of Rights. Beats any alternative I've seen.
    • Those who defend us against enemies, foreign and domestic.
    • Israel. The canary in freedom's coal mine.
    • The Readers. Seriously. Not joking.
    • The Authors, past and present. You helped build that.
    • The blogs and websites that link to us. The continued kindness of strangers is appreciated.
    • Fellow Ithaca conservatives, all ten of you.
    • The hope that the part of the human spirit that yearns to be free can prevail over evil, in Iran and elsewhere. (video h/t Caroline Glick)(original here)

    They come in all shapes, forms, manners of caps lock, and misspelled profanity, but one thing's certain: no one likes an internet troll. Internet trolls are the thorn in the side of most people who dare to express an opinion on the internet. Trolls are the people completely disinterested in honest debate, but love to hit and run. They comment on blog posts, news articles, Facebook posts and anywhere else the internet provides a forum for their psychosis to be displayed in all its demented glory. Here are a few types of common blog trolls:
    • Regular Troll -- This guy is openly 180-degrees opposed to the purpose and/or ideological orientation of the blog. Whatever you're for, he's against, and vice-versa....
    • False-Flag Troll -- This guy pretends to be on your side, but he's really not. Claiming to be a conservative, he inevitably advances messages that are anti-conservative. His purpose is to sow confusion, discord and demoralization.
    • Concern Troll -- A subspecies of false-flag troll. The Obama campaign deployed a swarm of concern trolls in fall 2008. They were recognizable by the 3-point argument that went something like this: (1) I'm a committed conservative/lifelong Republican, but (2) I'm concernedabout [something the Republicans had said or done], and therefore (3) I'm thinking I might vote for Obama on Election Day....
    • Agent Provocateur Troll -- Another false-flag subspecies, who aims to elicit unsavory or disreputable comments from other commenters, which can then be quoted to discredit the blog.
    Then there are other internet trolls, like those who spend all their waking hours tweeting and emailing people. Or, sending you an all caps lock laded tweet telling you to "WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!", showing up unsolicited to tell you just how wrong you are, in brutal terms but offering no reasons other than "because your dumb [sic]", and in many cases, all out harassing you just because they have nothing better to do from their mother's basement, internet trolls are an unfortunate byproduct of technological progress.  But I guess we can thank Al Gore's invention of the internet for that. Researchers in Canada decided to explore what types of people make up the majority of the internets trolls. According to Psychology Today:
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