Category Archives: Announcements

Wrapping Up Rational Beacon

[September 7, 2014 Update: Today I moved all the files from RationalBeacon.com to my homepage, AriArmstrong.com. See the "Rational Beacon" category for the contents imported from RationalBeacon.com. —Ari]

Although I’m glad I tried running Rational Beacon, it has been more time consuming and less successful than I’d anticipated, so I’m shutting it down. At first I was upset about this move, but then I thought about it in Edison’s terms: I didn’t fail at blogging, I merely discovered one additional way for me not to blog.

I plan to import all of Rational Beacon‘s contents to my personal page at AriArmstrong.com, where I plan to continue blogging. I also plan to consolidate all my previously published works there, except for my material with the Objective Standard and with Complete Colorado. (In the future I may write material for other publications and not reproduce it on my own page.) Although I’m shutting down RationalBeacon.com, I’m retaining the url into the indefinite future, in case I want to resurrect the site in a different form (something for which I have no plans at present).

A few people may be interested in a fuller account of my reasons for shutting down the site.

Originally, my idea for Rational Beacon was that, as I read the news and views of the day, I would quickly blog about the items that interested me, something I didn’t think would take much additional time. After all, I was essentially aggregating news for myself already, so, I thought, why not simply convert that work to a blog? Not only would that process help me keep in better touch with the news of the day, I thought, it might prove useful to others looking for a filtered news source.

Obviously part of my inspiration for aggregating news was InstaPundit, only I wanted to omit many of the types of stories covered there and to include many stories and opinion pieces not covered there. No one else aggregates stories the way I’d like to see it done, so I end up subjecting myself to the data equivalent of a fire hose each day, mostly via my Twitter feed. That seems to be unavoidable at this point. Very little of the total material published on a daily basis significantly interests me, but I have to sift through a substantial amount of that material to find the few items that do interest me.

Unfortunately, in blogging for Rational Beacon, I soon found myself spending much more time than I’d anticipated writing about certain stories. I thought I’d spend less than an hour, or perhaps up to a couple of hours, writing for Rational Beacon every day; instead, I found myself spending several hours blogging on most days. Especially given that no one is paying me to do it, I just can’t justify spending that much time on it.

Soon after starting the site, I shifted my focus. At first, I thought I’d post two or three dozen very-short posts. But I quickly began writing fewer (often a handful or a dozen), longer posts. Many of my posts are essentially (short) op-eds.

I’ve tentatively decided that I do want to continue aggregating news, although in much briefer form. Yesterday and today I published “roundups” of links, and that’s the way I’ll probably continue to aggregate material at my home page. If I want to say something more substantial about some event, issue, or editorial, I’ll write a dedicated article about it, either for my own page or for another publication (at this point, usually for the Objective Standard).

I never imagined Rational Beacon would be an Internet sensation, but I thought it would be more successful than it has been. After nearly a month of steady effort, the Facebook page has only 91 likes, and the Twitter page has only 75 followers. That’s just not enough of a following to justify the effort. (I have received some very positive feedback from several people, which I appreciate. I also appreciate the numerous “Rational Bacon” jokes.)

Part of my reasoning for starting Rational Beacon was that I thought a publication name separate from my name might go over better. Apparently I was wrong. So I’m just going to consolidate my offerings on my personal blog and through my personal Facebook and Twitter feeds. Associating my content with my name is fine, I think; that’s what Michelle Malkin and various others do (although Malkin has something like 300 times the Twitter followers that I have).

Of course, part of my problem, in terms of number of readers, is that I advocate some view or other to alienate nearly everyone. I’m not a conservative, or a leftist “liberal,” or a libertarian, or a “moderate”—and in many instances I loudly declare my disagreements with those groups. But I’d rather reach a few active-minded individuals than many cheerleaders.

Over the coming years I plan to write not only op-ed-style articles, as I’ve been doing for many years, but weightier articles on a range of subjects. (I hope my efforts toward that end will help broaden audience.) To reach my main goals in writing, I need to be a lot more careful about how I spend my time. As painful as shutting down Rational Beacon is, the main purpose in doing so is to help free up some of my time so that I can work more on other projects. Stay tuned.

How You Can Help Rational Beacon

rb-tw-400-400September 7, 2014 Update: I discontinued posting to RationalBeacon.com on August 29 and converted all the files from that site to AriArmstrong.com today. —Ari

Rational Beacon launched July 29 to offer brief commentary on the news and views of the day. Since then, I’ve published 180 posts—on average more than six per day—covering such topics as Islamic State, the Ferguson shooting, Ayn Rand, environmentalism, economics, and criminal justice.

That’s a great start, but it’s only a start. You can help Rational Beacon expand its reach in several ways:

  • “Like” Rational Beacon on Facebook, Like and Share its posts, and turn on “Get Notifications” (part of the “Liked” menu.)
  • Follow Rational Beacon on Twitter and retweet it.
  • Tell your friends about Rational Beacon, in person and via email and social media.
  • If you hear of an important, recently published news story or opinion piece, let me know about it via email: ari (atsign) freecolorado (dot) com.

Thank you for your support toward creating a world of reason and individual rights.

Ari Armstrong

Colorado Activist W. Earl Allen Dies in Plane Crash

earl-allenW. Earl Allen, long active in Colorado libertarian and free market organizations, died August 9 in a plane crash. See my brief write-up about Earl and the Denver Post‘s report about the crash. Just a few months ago I gave Earl some old flying videos that I’d collected. I’ve known Earl for many years, and I’m deeply saddened by his passing. The photo shown is of Earl at a 2009 event I organized to protest legal restrictions of beer sales.

Welcome to Rational Beacon

Rational Beacon is an aggregator of news and views of interest especially to people who advocate reason and individual rights. Rational Beacon was founded by Ari Armstrong, and the site and its trademarks, including “Rational Beacon,” are owned by Ari Armstrong. Unless otherwise marked, all posts are written and copyrighted by Ari Armstrong. Although there are currently no plans to turn Rational Beacon into anything more than an aggregation service, it’s possible the future may hold more in store.

September 7, 2014 Update: On August 19, I discontinued posting to Rational Beacon; see the explanatory post. Today I imported all the posts to AriArmstrong.com, and eventually I’ll delete the contents at RationalBeacon.com. -Ari

Note on Objective Standard Posting

In the past, I’ve linked to all of my blog posts published by The Objective Standard from my personal web page. But these days TOS is publishing most of my writing, so it seems pointless use my personal page to link to everything over there. Readers are welcome to check out my catalog of posts at TOS.

I’ll still link to my print articles and possibly to some of my more notable blog posts as well.

Along these lines, recently I wrote a post about a Colorado case in which the government is seeking to force a businessman to bake a cake for a gay wedding. That article has received a fair amount of play; check it out if you haven’t already done so.

In Which I Defend My Right to Use “Free Colorado”

I have been using the trademark “Free Colorado” for many years, and I here assert my right to keep on using it.

Unfortunately, another group has called itself “Free Colorado,” and that group claims to be “a non-profit organization registered in the State of Colorado.” (I was not able to find a record of the group on the Secretary of State’s web page.)

This group could not possibly have failed to notice that I have registered “FreeColorado.com” or that I call my site “Free Colorado.”

Unfortunately, this other group lists no contact information on its web page, FreeColorado.net. And a “whois” search of that domain lists only Proxy, LLC of Arizona as the contact information.

I have nothing against this other group (other than it using my name), but I wish it had picked some other name, or at least asked me first if I’d sell them or give them the rights to call their group “Free Colorado.” At this point, I request that the group select some other name.

At this point, I want to clarify that I have nothing to do with this organization, and it has nothing to do with me (besides using my name without my permission).

January 2012 In Review

January was a busy month as I began to blog more frequently for The Objective Standard. I also coauthored two columns for Grand Junction Free Press, wrote several substantial blog posts, uploaded five videos to YouTube, maintained my social media work, and moderated the DenverLiberty In the Books.

See also my December review.

If you find my work to be a value, please consider making a contribution!


Grand Junction Free Press

My dad Linn and I wrote our usual two columns for the Western Slope newspaper:

• Take Responsibility When Carrying a Gun

• Natelson Brings Original Constitution to Colorado Activists

Major Blog Posts

I wrote the following substantial blog posts uniquely for my own web page:

• Mises’ Lessons for Gentlemanly Disputes

• CO Cake Bill 1027: Let Them Eat Cake (No, Seriously)

• Common Cause Joins Pro-Censorship Rally

This story was Tweeted by MelissaTweets!

• The Book of Tebow

Notably, Westword picked up this story about the football player’s statistics in the context of numerological interpretations.

This story was also Tweeted by arch-skeptic Michael Shermer!

• John David Lewis Fought for the Future

YouTube Videos

Here are the videos I posted for the month:

Free Speech: Braunlich Testifies Against CO Campaign Laws

Why I Support the Colorado “Cake Bill”

First Look at the Independence Institute’s New Building

Anders Ingemarson: Friends and Foes of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged

Stephen Bailey: The Individualism of Ayn Rand’s ‘Anthem’

Objective Standard

I’m pleased to be writing more for the Objective Standard blog. (Of the work listed in this post, these posts and my work with Liberty In the Books is the only work for which I am directly paid.)

• Santorum Stands for Big Government because He Stands for Collectivism

• Who Deserves Credit for Tebow’s 316 Yards?

• Even with Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party Undermines Liberty

• Did God Help the Patriots Beat the Broncos?

• Romney Should Call for Property Rights and Lower Taxes for Everyone

• To Give Americans a “Fair Shot,” Obama Should Stop Violating Our Rights

• Double-Taxation Means Double Injustice for Romney

• Great Producers Deserve Our Gratitude, Not Obama’s Tax Hikes

• Warren Buffett Immorally Calls for Tax Hikes on Top Producers

• Obama Should Help End All Energy Subsidies, Not Play Favorites

• Gingrich Seeks to Violate Rights of Women and Doctors to Engage in Fertility Care

• Texas Anti-Abortion Law Violates Rights to Liberty and Freedom of Speech

Some Back-Patting

Wayne Laugesen, editorial page editor for the Colorado Springs Gazette,wrote the following comments on his Facebook page:

My very good friend—famous feminist-liberal Pamela White (author name “Pamela Clare”)—has become a full-fledged gun nut. … Pamela, as you will see by following the first link, used to be anti gun. Two vicious criminals broke into her Boulder home, and she was saved only by the timely and unlikely arrival of cops with guns. She remained anti gun until I and Ari Armstrong, a friend and great American, taught her about gun rights and guns. Ari sent her to the Western Slopes for firearms re-education camp.

Today, 10 years later, Pamela leaves this on my wall: “So, it’s official. I may be a gun nut. Yesterday’s shooting spree included my Mossberg, a Navy SEAL edition SIG Sauer P226, a Beretta, a Henry lever-action .22, an AR-15, a Winchester 3030, a SIG Mosquito, a Marlin .22 rifle, some kind of .45 (can’t remember). It was a lot of fun… The SIG is just sexy.”

And this, for which I am very proud: “I blame you and Ari Armstrong. ;-)”

Read Pam’s Boulder Weekly article on the matter.

And, if you’re into that sort of thing, check out Pam’s romance novels!

I was also touched by this letter by Gladys Woynowskie published by Grand Junction Free Press:

I read an online article by Ari Armstrong relating his confrontation of a Denver Post journalist. I am impressed by his willingness to simply ask for verification of data. It seems like a simple and innocuous act, yet accuracy is powerful and significant.

I want to express my appreciation for Mr. Armstrong’s regard for accuracy (especially valuable in a journalist), and his patient tenacity in expecting other journalists to value the same. Mr. Armstrong reflects well on the reputation of Grand Junction Free Press.

Thanks, Gladys!

And check out that article if you haven’t already seen it.

If you find my work to be a value, please consider making a contribution!

December 2011 In Review

December brought my 2011 to an ambitious close as I covered gun statistics from the Denver Post, reviewed the speech-infringing campaign laws, and more. (See also my Year In Review through November.)


Image at Picasa

If you find my work to be a value, please consider making a contribution!


Gun Statistics

When I read a set of gun-related statistics in a December 28 Denver Poststory, the reported claims didn’t seem right to me. So I started digging into the data and found very different figures. By the end of the day I had written two articles on the matter, the Denver Post had issued a correction to its online article, and Glenn Reynolds had linked to my main article through his Instapundit.

Largely because of the Instapundit link, my article, “Joey Bunch Misstates Gun Statistics in Denver Post,” got 13,446 page views (as of this writing).

Originally the Post reported the following: “More than 500 children in the United States die in gun accidents each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a 2007 report, which estimated 1.7 million children live in homes where guns are kept.”

But, I discovered, that single sentence contains three serious errors. First, in 2007, 112 minors (under age 18) died from unintentional shootings. Second, the “1.7 million” figure refers to the number of children who (based on unreliable survey data) live in homes where unlocked and loaded guns are kept. Third, there was no 2007 CDC report reporting those figures.

However, obviously it’s a very bad thing when anyone dies of unintentional gun fire (or any other hazard); I wrote about that general problem in a follow-up article, “The Tragedy of Fatal Hazards for Children.” I found, among other things, that children are more likely to die from drowning, falls, fire, poisoning, suffocation, or transportation than they are to die from unintentional gun fire.

Because of my write-up, I was invited on to the December 30 radio show for NRA News. I spent about ten minutes explaining the statistics and the positive trend lines in terms of reduced deaths due to unintentional gun fire.

My reporting even earned some praise from left-leaning blogger Jason Salzman, who wrote on his Twitter feed, “Some conservatives mindlessly slam The Post, but here’s an example from @ariarmstrong of how to complain constructively.” (Of course, I don’t consider myself a conservative, though I am friendly with many conservatives.)

Articles for The Objective Standard

I also coauthored an article for The Objective Standard, wrote a book review, and wrote four posts for the journal’s blog. (Of all the work listed in this write-up, I get paid directly only for my work for that journal, in addition to my work with Liberty In the Books).

Diana Hsieh and I wrote the following article:

The Assault on Abortion Rights Undermines All Our Liberties

I also submitted a book review on Andrew Bernstein’s Capitalist Solutions.

For the journal’s blog I wrote the following:

Contra Occupiers, Profits Embody Justice

To Protect Rights, Phase Out Payroll Tax Completely

Obama’s Osawatomie Shakedown: Critics’ Roundup

Newt Sides with Anti-Abortion Zealots

Op-Eds Published Elsewhere

On Denver 19 the Denver Post published my op-ed, “Tebowmania isn’t just for Christians.” On December 20 my op-ed was listed in the second spot for the paper’s “Top Opinion Stories.”

I also coauthored two articles for Grand Junction Free Press:

Gessler Emerges as the Free Speech Secretary of State

‘Twas the night before they occupied the North Pole

Campaign Laws Vs. Free Speech

On December 15, I spoke at a Secretary of State hearing on Colorado’s campaign laws. I also recorded the video testimony of others and published it on YouTube:

Campaign Finance Rules: Collected Testimony

I also wrote up extensive comments prior to the meeting:

Comments Regarding the Secretary of State’s Dec. 15 Campaign Finance Rule Hearing

Earlier in the month I gave a talk at Liberty On the Rocks about the campaign laws, along with Diana Hsieh:

Reviewing CO’s Campaign Laws

As mentioned, I coauthored an article on the matter for Grand Junction Free Press.

I was also quoted in the Durango Herald on the campaign laws: “I think it’s a travesty and a mockery of the First Amendment that Colorado citizens are being dragged into court for daring to engage in the political process.” (Diana Hsieh also was quoted by the AP on the matter.)

Also, Matt Arnold reported that an audio clip from my video of State Senator John Morse was used in a segment for 560 KLZ radio.

Social Media

I posted 442 Tweets on my Twitter feed (ending the month at 10,932 total Tweets), and I gained 51 new followers, moving from 1,168 to 1,219.

The “likes” on my Facebook page grew from 211 to 238.

On my YouTube channel, I posted eight videos, all about the campaign laws except for one about Ayn Rand’s We the Living. That brings my total to 173 videos. Following are two of the December offerings.

Other Major Blog posts

I posted 21 articles to the blog in December. The major ones include the following:

Nanny Statist Sullivan Arrested for Consensual Crimes: My commentary on Sullivan informed an article by Jacob Sullum for Reason magazine. Sullum also linked to my article in a Tweet, writing, “CO drug warrior accused of trading meth for sex also busted johns and opposed legal gambling.”

Paul-Johnson 2012: The Libertarians’ Best-Case Scenario

The Delusional Gary Johnson

What About Colorado’s Millions of Other Tax Scofflaws?

NRF Blames Banks for Harms of Federal Price Controls on Credit Cards

Officials Wage War on Colorado Businesses

Belated Apology to Littwin

Book Clubs

I moderated the December discussion for the Denver Liberty In the Books.(I also participated in a book club for Longmont Objectivism.)

If you find my work to be a value, please consider making a contribution!


My Year In Review

As 2011 draws to a close, I wanted to review my writing and political activism for the year. A friend suggested that I start to offer monthly summaries instead, so that’s what I’ll do starting next month. Thankfully, there’s much to review for the entire year!

If you find my work to be a value, please consider making a contribution!


Hoiles Finalist and New York Trip

Perhaps the biggest news of the year was the September announcement naming me as a finalist in the Hoiles prize for regional journalism. See my media release,which links to the articles entered for the contest.

While in New York for the awards banquet, I also attended a talk at the Foundation for Economic Educationand interviewed several protesters with Occupy Wall Street. The photo shows me conducting an interview in Zuccotti Park; see the other photos (hosted by Picasa) of the New York trip.

Social Media Growth

My Facebook author page has 211 followers (please give it a “Like”); I use it to announce my new articles, videos, and media appearances.

My Twitter feed has 1,168 followers. I love Twitter and use it to aggregate news I find interesting (especially Colorado-related news), as well as to link to my own work. My Tweets are retweeted or mentioned nearly every day. If you’re not following me on Twitter you’re missing out on a large portion of my commentary.

I’ve loaded a total of 166 videos onto my YouTube channel, with 77 this year. My most popular video remains my shortest: “‘USA Union Rally” at 26 seconds garnered 10,770 views. All my videos for the year got 30,849 views.

I think the following video is my favorite of the year; it contrasts the anti-capitalist sentiments of Occupy Wall Street with a defense of capitalism by my wife and a friend.

Liberty In the Books and The Objective Standard

Thankfully, I get paid directly for some of my work. I have now added fifteen works to the Liberty In the Books web site, and (thanks in part to a marketing campaign) the group’s Facebook page has 408 followers. (Please give it a “Like!”) I also moderate the monthly Denver reading group. Last year I raised funds for this work in an amount that covers it through the first part of next year. Liberty In the Books is a project ofLiberty On the Rocks.

The Objective Standard also pays me for my articles. I am now a regular contributer to the blog there. Following is the list of my TOS articles so far this year:

Call It Exuberant Friday, Not “Black Friday”

Student Loan Scheme Just Another Rights-Violating Bailout

Yes, President Obama, We Can’t Wait…
(The Home Affordable Refinance Program)

The Justice of Income Inequality Under Capitalism
(Retweeted by Michelle Malkin!)

“Fair Tax” Offers Neither Fairness Nor Simplicity
(See also my first piece on the matter.)

How to Actually “Separate Government from the Corporations”

Fuel Controls Violate Rights and Stifle Markets

TOS has been a great forum for me to address more national issues.

Articles for Other Publications

I’ve written articles for various Colorado newspapers (some through the Independence Institute) as well as for Pajamas Media. (Neither the publications nor the Institute paid me for any of this work).

My dad Linn and I continue to write a twice-monthly column for Grand Junction Free Press. See the complete list of those articles. In an online September poll hosted by the paper, we were listed as the favorite columnists!

I’ve also placed several articles with other Colorado papers:

GazetteHarry Potter Teaches Freedom and Strength

Colorado DailyRitter’s “New Energy Economy” Based on Old Fallacies
(This article was also published by the Independence Institute, Denver Daily, and Summit Daily, and it was discussed by Jon Caldara.)

Denver DailyLaw Should Protect Wanted Fetuses While Allowing Abortions

GazettePublic’s ‘Right to Know’ Can Clash with Right to Free Speech

Mountain MailDenver DailyUse Tax Criminals

Denver PostLawsuit Against Gessler Over Campaign Finance (Letter)

Boulder WeeklyHarry Potter Explores Life’s Big Questions

Denver PostReaction to Lamborn’s “Tar Baby” Comment Is Typical GOP-Bashing

Pajamas MediaHealth Insurance and Personal Responsibility

Pajamas MediaElizabeth Warren’s ‘Social Contract’ an Ideological Fantasy
(Retweeted by Michelle Malkin and Melissa Tweets, and discussed at Bizzy Blog!)

Free Colorado Blog

I’ve posted 208 articles to this blog in 2011 prior to this one. Sometimes I use the blog to summarize my work elsewhere and link to it, but often I publish substantive and original content directly to the blog. Following are a few of those posts:

Anti-Abortion ‘Personhood’ Tries for Round Three

Yes, A National Sales Tax is Constitutional

Occupy Denver and Free Speech

Free Market Arguments Against Vouchers

Occupy Wall Street: Bob Glass Reports

Why Voting Integrity Requires Proof Positive

Rand, Aristotle, and the ‘Flayed Ox’ (art)

The Pope and Harry Potter

On Making the News

Does TABOR Violate the U.S. Constitution?

Eina Kleina Social Security Analysis

Why I’m Not a Libertarian

‘Personhood’ and the Fetal Protection Bill

Business Investment: Willkie’s Lessons for Obama and Moore

Confessions of a Former Koch Fellow

Media Interviews and Mentions

I’ve appeared on radio and television a few times and been mentioned by other media outlets:

OpenMarket.org: “Ari and Linn Armstrong have a great piece in the Grand Junction Free Press on why it is finally time for a free beer market in Colorado.”

Sam Adams Alliance: I was Interviewed about activism.

BigMedia.org: My articles about a fetal protection bill were quoted extensively a first and second time.

Denver Diatribe: A post included me as among the writers’ “favorite local tweets.”

Sam Adams Alliance: I was mentioned in a May 10 blog post (since removed) about free speech and Colorado’s campaign laws.

Devil’s Advocate: I appeared on Jon Caldara’s television program to discuss free speech and Colorado’s campaign laws.

BigMedia.org: Jason Salzman quoted me about Grassroots Radio.

710 KNUS: I spoke on the radio with Jimmy Sengenberger.

Grand Junction Business Times: The paper included a lengthy review of aFree Press article by my dad and me about international trade.

Westword: I was quoted by Patricia Calhoun regarding the “tar baby” flap.

630 KHOW: I appeared on Peter Boyles’s show to discuss the “tar baby” controversy.

Gazette: An editorial quoted me regarding the “tar baby” story.

Denver Post: Several letters replied to my “tar baby” op-ed. (On my blog Ireplied right back.)

Pajamas Media: The publication mentioned me regarding the food stamp challenge.

Craig Green: In a blog post Craig kindly wrote, “Ari has an elegant way of saying a lot in a few words, each one carefully chosen to have the maximum impact.”

Cari and Rob Show: I appeared on this radio show to discuss income inequality and Occupy Wall Street.

Grassroots Radio: I appeared on the October 11 show to discuss Occupy Wall Street.

BigMedia.org: I was mentioned regarding a “personhood” media conference. (The same article was linked by Westword.)

So it has been a very busy and productive year!

Again, I’d appreciate your donation (NOT tax-deductible) if you find my work to be a value.


Hoiles Finalist

RELEASE

Ari Armstrong Announced as Hoiles Finalist for Regional Journalism

Colorado free-market writer Ari Armstrong has been announced as a finalist in the 2011 Hoiles Prize for regional journalism. The award, offered by the International Policy Network (IPN), takes its name from R. C. Hoiles, former head of Freedom Newspapers.

“I’m honored to be included in this impressive group of finalists,” Armstrong said. “I’m also very pleased that IPN recognizes this important regional work. I’ve long believed that advocating liberty at the regional level forms the bedrock of a strong republic.”

Armstrong joins six other finalists, and the three winners will be announced November 2 in New York. The same evening, IPN will also announce the winners of the prestigious Bastiat Prize.

Armstrong coauthored four of the six essays submitted for the contest with his father Linn for Grand Junction Free Press.

An IPN release announces the following details:

“Richard Fisher, president and CEO of the Dallas Federal Reserve, will speak at the tenth annual dinner for the Bastiat Prize at the Four Seasons Restaurant… in New York on Wednesday, November 2, 2011. … This year a new prize, the R.C. Hoiles Prize for Journalism, will be given for American work. The prize celebrates courageous journalists who explain the importance of free markets and risks presented by excessive government intervention. …

“The seven nominated Hoiles finalists are: Ari Armstrong (Colorado Daily), Sara Burrows (Carolina Journal), Bill Frezza (RealClearMarkets.com), Steven Greenhut (The Orange County Register), Steve Malanga (Manhattan Institute, The Wall Street Journal), Bruce Ramsey (The Seattle Times) and Damon Root (Reason).”

The following six articles were considered for the prize:

‘New energy economy’ based on old fallacies
Colorado Daily, January 16, 2011
(Also published by Denver Daily and Summit Daily.)

How many criminals has Colorado use tax created?
Mountain Mail, May 25, 2011
(Also published by Denver Daily.)

Channel 11 piece peddles economic nonsense
Grand Junction Free Press, May 27, 2011

Colorado’s Campaign Laws Throw Common Sense Out the Window
Grand Junction Free Press, May 13, 2011

Walter Walker Opposed Grand Junction’s Socialists
Grand Junction Free Press, April 15, 2011

Time for a Free Market in the Alcohol Industry
Grand Junction Free Press, December 10, 2010

New Blog

September 13, 2014 Update: This month I imported all the material from blog.ariarmstrong.com, at one point my Google-hosted blog, to my home page at AriArmstrong.com.

Please see the new blog at http://blog.ariarmstrong.com/.

I’ll convert this URL to my homepage with information about my active projects.

Making the Google Jump

[January 28, 2013, Update: Obviously the contents of this post are out of date. I include it here for archival purposes; it originally appeared at http://blog.ariarmstrong.com.]

My internet publishing is undergoing a major change. As should be obvious, my blog is now at http://blog.ariarmstrong.com/. (I am also posting quite a lot to Twitter @ariarmstrong, where I mention interesting links and offer brief commentary.)

Recently Google announced that its Blogger service will no longer support FTP publishing, meaning the service will no longer send material to a domain hosted elsewhere. Instead, to use Blogger, one must host the blog through Google. A Blogger user can use a “blogspot.com” blog, register a domain with Google and use it for a Google-hosted blog, or register a domain or subdomain elsewhere and set the DNS to Google (such that Google hosts the content). I’ve decided to go with the last option.

I also strongly considered abandoning Google altogether. Not only am I miffed that Google is shutting down its FTP service, but I’m still annoyed that Google shut down the blog of economist George Reisman. Nevertheless, as one of my friends pointed out, Blogger is a free service, so it’s a little hard to complain too stringently about it. If you really hate Blogger, don’t use it. That said, I do think it would be absolute foolishness to give Google control of one’s domain (if one cares about keeping content online). Because I own and control my subdomain, I can reclaim it and republish my content elsewhere if need be.

Blogger just works well. It’s extremely easy to use. I helped set up a friend with Word Press and quickly learned that that service, while okay, is a lot harder to operate. I seriously considered going back to hand coding my page (based on templates created in Dream Weaver). But then a single blog post would require updating at least four pages: the index, the individual post, the archives, and the feed. Major hassle. So I’ll stick with Blogger.

Here’s how I’m handling the change. I’m leaving all my existing content online at AriArmstrong.com and FreeColorado.com. I’m starting a new blog (this one) at http://blog.ariarmstrong.com/. Rather than run two different blogs, I will henceforth publish only this blog. (I’ll publish a few residual posts at FreeColorado.com and cross-post here.)

Thankfully, there’s an easy way to create a feed based on labels. My FreeColorado.com blog feeds into People’s Press Collective; now I will use the “PPC” label for all relevant content. The PPC-related political feed is this:
feed://blog.ariarmstrong.com/feeds/posts/default/-/PPC

(I may also use a generic “politics” label for national stuff.)

The general feed for all my content is this:
feed://blog.ariarmstrong.com/feeds/posts/default

Others might be confused as to how to direct a subdomain to Google. Here’s how I accomplished that. I checked in with my registrar and learned that I can create a subdomain there only if the DNS points to that registrar. Because I host my (other) content with Web Hosting Buzz (a great service, by the way), I had to submit a ticket to that company’s technical support team, asking to create the subdomain and direct its DNS settings to Google. Then I created a new blog at Google and switched its URL to the subdomain. It took me a while to figure out, but the process itself is very easy. (Things get more complicated if you want to move old content over to Google, which is one reason I didn’t go that route.)

I’ll slowly convert all my existing content at my two main pages to Dream Weaver files, such that I can easily edit the template and have it apply to all the files. (My wife tells me that all my old framed files are deprecated.) I’ll run the political feed from this blog (as well as my Twitter feed) on FreeColorado.com. I’ll turn AriArmstrong.com into my home page, with links to all the archival material as well as to my active projects. (I may run the blog feed there as well.)

This might be a good time to briefly summarize my history of web publishing. Back in late 1998 (before the term “blog” had been coined), I started publishing the “Colorado Freedom Report” at co-freedom.com. I quickly figured out that a hyphenated URL is a major pain, so within a few years I switched to FreeColorado.com. In late 2007, I started up AriArmstrong.com with the idea of making that my main blog, but then I realized that I didn’t want to let FreeColorado.com lapse, so I converted that to a blog to begin 2008. But now I’m finding that running two blogs is hard, given my activity on Twitter and my other projects.

So now this integrated blog in 2010 marks a new stage in my internet publishing. However, some things never change. What matters most is content, and, as always, my goal is to make the tech serve the ideas.

Major Changes to AriArmstrong.com and FreeColorado.com

[September 14, 2014 Update: This post is outdated. I've imported all the content discussed here to this page.]

Henceforth, my blog at AriArmstrong.com will be dedicated to issues of religion and culture. Every topic and post will have some significant connection to religion (with the possible occasional exception of announcements regarding the blog) . As my readers know, my perspective is essentially critical of religion per se (though of course I recognize valuable contributions from various religious people).

At the same time, I am converting FreeColorado.com to a blog. All of the content created prior to the blog will remain intact. Every post that I write about politics and cultural issues not directly connected to religion will appear there. The old RSS feed for FreeColorado.com will be discontinued, so readers may switch to the RSS feed connected to the new blog.

Why the changes? I’ve found that my blogging lacks focus. At AriArmstrong.com, I’ve been writing about religion, national politics, local politics, films, and so on. While some readers appreciate the range of commentary, others probably favor a narrower range. Now readers who care only about religion and its impact on culture can stick with AriArmstrong.com. Readers interested only in my political commentary can turn to FreeColorado.com. (Hopefully some readers will frequent both blogs. I hope that the the hassle of reading two blogs is minimal, whereas the benefits of separating the content are substantial.) Even though religion is itself an extremely broad topic, my comments at FreeColorado.com will tend to cover an even broader range of issues. For that reason, I’ve decided to put any (infrequent) personal note there.

Since I started the blog at AriArmstrong.com, I haven’t known quite what to do with FreeColorado.com. But it’s a great domain name with nearly a decade of history behind it. However, the process of manually updating files has grown wearisome, especially when blogging is so much faster. Now FreeColorado.com will return to its original purpose: hosting commentary mostly about politics, with an emphasis on Colorado. Now, though, I’m more likely to post shorter comments along with more substantive articles, given that posting to a blog is so fast. The amount of commentary appearing at FreeColorado.com should increase substantially over recent weeks.

I plan to substantially change the look of FreeColorado.com over the coming weeks, and I may also make some updates to the design of AriArmstrong.com. Regardless of the look, I hope that readers find the content of both blogs to be interesting and considered (if often controversial).